Updated: 05/17/2014 16:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Norman the inspiration for top dog Scott

Adam Scott's ascension to golf's world number one is in sync with his goals to emulate the feats of his boyhood idol Greg Norman.


Norman the inspiration for top dog Scott

Adam Scott of Australia plays a shot during the first round of the 78th Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia - by Timothy A. Clary

Scott, 33, will overtake Tiger Woods in next week's rankings to become golf's world number one for the first time.

He will become the first Aussie to claim the top spot in the rankings since 'the Great White Shark' Norman reigned for 331 weeks in the 1980s and 1990s.

Scott has often spoken about the inspirational effect Norman had on his formative golfing years and paid tribute to the two-time major winner after capturing the Masters at Augusta last year.  

"Part of this is for him (Norman) because he's given me so much time and inspiration and belief," Scott said. "I drew on that a lot. I somehow managed to stay in each shot when I needed to.

"He has devoted so much time to myself and other young Australian players who came after him. Incredibly generous."

Norman had predicted Scott would topple Tiger Woods from the world number one spot and has been vindicated by his protégé reaching the pinnacle ranking after spurning four chances to overtake Woods in recent months.

Scott has often spoken about his ambition to follow in the trail-blazing path of Norman, who once dominated golf with his charisma and derring-do.  

"I honestly feel I can follow Greg's footsteps as far as his achievements," Scott once said.

"I feel that's kind of a goal of mine. Greg has a charisma about him and an aura that he carries and I don't know if that comes with success or if you've just got it, and I don't know if I've got that.

"But my goal is to achieve Greg's feats so I'm on my way."

Now Scott, who enraptured his homeland with his sudden-death playoff win to become the first Australian to capture the Masters, will become only the 17th player to hold the number one ranking.

"I think it's a nice feather in the cap," he said.

"I mean, if I was never world number one when I'm this close, I'd be disappointed.

"But I'd also much rather win the US Open and not be number one at all this year. That's what it comes down to."

Scott, described by female fans as "golf's dreamboat" and who one time dated glamour tennis star Anna Ivanovic, broke hearts when he announced in May that he had married his long-time girlfriend Marie Kojzar in a small ceremony at his Bahamas residence.

Scott provided one of Australia's cherished sporting moments with his euphoric victory at last year's Masters at Augusta, uniting all Australians behind his historic achievement.

That green jacket had proved particularly elusive with eight Australians finishing as runners-up at the Masters, including two-time British Open champion Norman, who endured Georgia heartbreak with three runner-up finishes in the 1980-90s.

Yet nine months after making bogeys on the last four holes to squander a British Open lead at Royal Lytham and two years after sharing second at the Masters, Scott nervelessly captured his first major title with victory at the Masters.

Five-times British Open champion Peter Thomson was another Australian golfing great to encourage Scott to believe he would win majors and become the world number one. 

“Immediately the (2012) British Open was over, I sent him an email,” Thomson said.

“I said never mind, that’s just a small step back in your career. You will get there if you keep trying. Words to that effect.

"Then he replied with a nice message of thanks. I felt very good about it. He deserves what he has won.”

Scott holds a celebrated place in Australian sport following his breakthrough triumph at the Masters.

Leading golf journalist Martin Blake called Scott's winning putt one of the standout moments in Australian sport.

"Adam Scott goes into the pantheon of Australian sporting greats, right up with (Rod) Laver, (Dawn) Fraser, (Donald) Bradman. (Masters) Hoodoo broken," he tweeted.

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