NORTON – Thinking back on the moment 15 years ago, Adam Scott doesn’t remember it as his first PGA Tour win.
“What stands out is how young I looked,’’ recalled Scott, now 38. “I look like I rolled out of high school to win that one.’’
It was the 2003 Deutsche Bank Championship, and it was historic. It was not only the first PGA Tour win for the eventual Masters champion (he won at Augusta a decade later), but it was the first of 15 annual Tour visits to the area.
And while the TPC Boston — whose event is now the Dell Technologies Championship — will continue to be a course the PGA Tour uses biannually, its time as a yearly event is ending after 2018. For Scott and fellow Tour veteran Justin Rose, it’s the setting of an indelible memory.
“That was a big week for me,’’ Rose said on Friday, reflecting on the 2003 event. “They extended an invite to me. I finished third and got my US Tour card without having to go to Q-School. This venue, I’ve always been very thankful and grateful to it.’’
Rose, who, like Scott, was 23 at the time, made the most of his chance. He dazzled the New England crowd, shooting an opening-round 63 to take a surprising lead amid a field full of established names.
The next day, it was Scott’s turn. Behind five birdies and two eagles, the Australian shot a 62 to take a two-stroke lead.
“I remember Justin got off to a great start on the first round and I thought, ‘Well, I better go catch him,’’’ said Scott. “I think there was a bit of banter. I was saying I was going to reel him in. I was out there making couple of birdies and he was a few holes in front of me, and I was trying to get his attention showing him how I was casting right at him.’’
Scott, who was only playing because of a sponsor’s invitation that year, went on to win the inaugural PGA Tour event at TPC Boston, finishing 20 under. Rose was third at 15 under. The New England event was the backdrop for a friendship between the two that’s continued over the years, even as the rest of their circumstances have changed dramatically.
“We laughed about it this morning,’’ Scott remembered. “It’s been so long we’ve been coming here and lots of good memories. We used to travel and hang a lot back in the day before families and everything. A lot of good times here at this event.’’
Just as their lives have changed since 2003, so has the course they once mastered.
“It’s been completely rebuilt since I won here,’’ Scott said. “It kind of resembles nothing of what it was when I won here, and they’ve done a nice job with that. It’s really matured a lot.’’
One thing that’s remained constant for each golfer are the feelings the event evokes.
“I feel comfortable here, which I think is important,’’ said Rose.
Scott said Boston is a place he’s more than comfortable with. It’s to the point where the man from Adelaide, Australia, now roots for New England teams.
“I feel like I get great support everywhere I go, but certainly this place has a special spot for me,’’ he said. “After winning here and kind of moving my game to America, I definitely adopted Boston as my hometown as far as all sports teams go.’’
For the first time since before his 2003 win, the PGA Tour won’t return to TPC Boston next year. But when it eventually does in 2020, Scott will relish the chance.
“I think it’s lent itself really well to hosting tournaments, this course. So I’ll look forward to that opportunity for more.’’