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July 15, 2014

Adam Scott


LYNN WALLACE: Good afternoon, everyone. We're joined by the 2013 Masters champion, Adam Scott. Thanks for joining us this afternoon. You've been right up there in the last two Opens. You must be excited coming into this week.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, very much looking forward to this week and trying to keep momentum from the last years going, and hopefully give myself another chance at winning this great event. There's nothing else on my mind right now other than executing this week.

Q. You obviously played quite a few practice rounds now, just wondering your assessment of the course and what you think it's going to take to win out there?
ADAM SCOTT: The course is great. It's been presented beautifully. Every aspect of it is perfect. It's incredible, really. As far as what it takes, it is all weather dependent. It can change so much, even throughout the day, depending whether the wind is up or dropped, so the wind switches. So you have to play that by ear. But obviously the wind is a big defense for this golf course. If it's not windy, I think as soft as it is, we're going to have some good scores out here.

Q. Playing all those practice rounds, is a lot of the emphasis getting used to hitting a 2-iron, a club that you might neglect most of the rest of the year? How difficult is it to rely on a club that maybe you're not using 50 weeks of the year?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, well, I use a 2-iron every week of the year. It's in my bag full-time. I think the idea of playing the rounds is to have a real level of comfort on every tee that you step on. And then knowing what club it is instinctively without having to look at a yardage book and yards, to figure it out. It's very hard to figure out how far balls roll on fairways like this, even though we're all saying that it's softer than a links -- last year anyway, and the last time we were here. It's very hard to know exactly how far it's going to roll. So you have to have that level of comfort. And I think that's what I've done well the last few years by coming up early and playing a lot of rounds.

Q. Given the last couple of years and also you played pretty well here in '06, do you feel like you're slowly building the necessary skill set to win an Open?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I've got it. I think Lytham was the proving to me that I've got what it takes to win. It was obviously not the finish there. But that gave me a lot of confidence not just about playing well in Majors, but also had the game to win an Open Championship, which is big for the confidence. And I think I'm playing some of the best golf of my life at the moment, so I should really be taking advantage of it and stepping up this week and putting myself in with a good chance.

Q. It's become a regular thing for you to come over early for The Open. Can you talk about what you did last week, when you got here, how many rounds you played, how much time you spent on the practice round and what you went through last week.
ADAM SCOTT: I got up here on Thursday and I've played every day. There was no range open up here then, so I just came out and played pretty much 18 every day except Saturday, I think I played 30 holes or so. Like I said, with just the idea of getting very comfortable and familiar with the golf course. It's been good. It's one of the weeks I look forward to most out of the whole year. I got to come and play The Open Championship course when it's closed, the week before. It's a real perk of the job, I think.

Q. Does coming so close in the last couple of years at the Open make you hungrier this time around?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it does, for sure. I feel like a little bit of what I said, I'm playing some of my best golf at the moment. And I don't know how long that's going to last. So I've got to try and take advantage of that and win all the events that I'd really love to win, and this is certainly one of them. I've given myself a couple of opportunities and haven't done it. I think maybe the third time you have to do it or it might not come back around.

Q. After bouncing back so well in 2012, can you recap how disappointing that was? Since then your career has really gone from strength to strength.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. Well, like I said before, it proved to me that I can play at the required level in Majors. And The Open Championship, and I took that as a positive and figured I must be doing some of the right things to put myself in that position. And I tried to keep doing all the right things and make amends for any errors that I made at Lytham. Next time I had a chance at Augusta I was able to get over the line. And I'd like to just keep giving myself those chances. And the more I do, I'll win some and I'll lose some. But hopefully the wins add up.

Q. Can you describe in retrospect rounds where you've been playing extraordinarily well, where you have played extraordinarily well, like the final round at Augusta, how does that sort of round differ from other rounds, and how can you try to recreate that?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, that one's an interesting one. I just played solid all week. Some days it's easy, isn't it? It's a lot easier than others. Conditions were ideal that week and my swing was in such a great spot and I just swung the club beautifully and got out of my own way. I think that's what we all try and do. Sometimes it's harder, whether it's -- you might be struggling with your rhythm or when you're sitting there playing under the pressure of a Major over the weekend, obviously your mind can race and you can have a lot of thoughts and that can affect the way you perform, as well. It's balancing all that and trying to feel a comfortable place when you're in a very high-pressure situation. And I think the more I put myself there the more comfortable I can get.

Q. To the fans in Australia, it's a great deal, a big deal when an Australian, particularly someone who becomes No. 1 in the world. But what does it mean to you? Is it just a number, has it changed your life? Has it changed the way you play the game?
ADAM SCOTT: It hasn't changed the way I play the game. But I've enjoyed the last couple of months immensely. I think it's been such a process to get to this childhood dream and achieve it that I've tried hard to keep myself there for a little bit. And I'll be trying hard again this week to win some more points to stay up there. But obviously the goal is to win a golf tournament this week, not just stay No. 1. I think one day I'll look back on it as an incredible achievement. But it's hard to reflect too much on things you do when you're in the middle of playing your career. I don't think there's time for stopping and reflecting at the moment. But one day it will be something that I'm very proud of.

Q. Take a good look at your finish here in '06 and say, you played well at this venue, you could play well again. Is that reasonable eight years on? How much does a golfer change over that period of time?
ADAM SCOTT: I think they change a lot. I think everyone changes over eight years. We've got a completely different golf course that we're looking at this week. It will play completely different. I had a good finish here and eight years means nothing to having a good finish this week. It's a completely different animal. I think even though we've got a different golf course you have to come back and relearn the course, anyway. We played so much golf since then and so much different courses. There are things that stand out certainly. But the little subtle bits of a golf course is what you need to refresh yourself on. You can know which way a hole goes or where a bunker is. But there are little bits of feel in there that you really have to get used to.

Q. Is it fair to say that the key to shooting a low score will be ultimately be decided on the par-5s?
ADAM SCOTT: That would that will be a big part in it, for sure. I think that's the one thing we're all looking at if we can take advantage of the par-5s, there's a real opportunity for a low score out there with some good golf on the other 14 holes. And it's going to be a big part of the strategy of how we're playing, I think. If you're swinging well and you can get a driver in the fairway down the par-5s, they're almost par-4s.

Q. I think by chance yesterday you ended up having a practice with the amateur champion, Bradley Neil. What are your impressions of him?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I was very -- I mean, these kids swing so fast. He had a practice swing on the first tee and it was like this big whoosh that got my attention. And I then found out soon after he'd just won the Amateur. So he's buzzing. He's got a great year in front of him with some incredible golf experiences coming up. We talked a little bit about that and what he was up to. I think he settled down and hit some really nice shots out there, and I could see there's a lot of talent and he's a strong young kid. He's got the potential to play really well. And obviously he's handy around the links, seeing he's just won the Amateur championship.

Q. After playing perfect golf courses for the other 51 weeks of the year, how difficult is it to recreate some of those old links shots that you perhaps used during your junior and amateur days more often?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I mean it's hard to say this is not a perfect golf course. It's just really different. But it is, it's very hard to adjust in the short space of time, like we have. And that's why I find it valuable coming up the week before, because I feel I need to give myself a good week of really understanding, you know, a 2-iron might run out to 330 yards off a tee, and that I need to hit a 4-iron from 156 yards into a green, and actually hit it firm and not baby it up there. To get your head around that is really tough. And a lot of it is feel, and you need a bit of time and you need to play, I think, to do that. You won't find that on the range because you're not really paying attention to how far the ball is going on the range. You're looking at how straight it's going. It's a big adjustment. For me I've found coming early is helpful.

Q. What is the most memorable 2-iron shot you've hit in a competition?
ADAM SCOTT: You've stumped me on that one. I must have hit a good one somewhere (laughter). Because it's in the bag every week, so it must do something well.

Q. Not everyone carries it in their bag every week, why do you?
ADAM SCOTT: I always played a 2-iron. I played a 1-iron as a kid. And I experimented with the hybrids for a year, also. But I just felt that I had more versatility with a 2-iron. Now it's not a straight-bladed 2-iron. I've got a little help in the back of the club there. There's plenty of meat back there. But just off the tee I think it gives me the option to flight the ball a little better than the hybrids did, and I can still hit it up in the air into the green. But for here it's perfect. I don't have to do anything with it, other than swing.

Q. As well as you drive the ball, assuming you drive the ball well this week, are you tempted or willing to take on more than you ordinarily would, given the bunkers in links golf?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's a tricky one. I think the couple of holes where you could, I'm probably not going to. I think the penalty is too severe. Obviously the par-5s, and there are a few other holes. It's so wind-dependent as to what you hit. But I think I'm not going with crazy aggressive, if that's what you meant. On some downwind holes there's a chance to hit it over some bunkers and into some pretty wide areas. And I'll try and do that and take advantage of driving the ball well, if I am. But if not, I'll be trying to stay out of the bunkers, because they're instant penalty.

Q. Secondly, last week little Mo Martin, who won the Women's British, she started out using a long handled putter from age six and recently was dallying around with a short putter, and her coach said her stroke is better. I'm curious, since the anchoring announcement, how much you've messed with a conventional stroke? And secondly, how much do you think going to it -- can you feel that your stroke could be just as good, if not better?
ADAM SCOTT: I haven't messed with it at all. I thought I'd worry about that when I have to change. And I would say I'd completely agree with her coach, that I'm sure her stroke is better, because I think mine would be, as well, if I went back to the short one.

Q. You've clearly come out with a schedule that works well for you. What you do is different from what many of the top players schedule their seasons. Can you tell us what the thinking is behind what you do, basically, and the lead-up, especially to Majors?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, well, I just try and prepare the best I can. The Majors are the biggest events, the ones we all want to win the most. And I feel like I need to practice and prepare in a certain way that I feel my game's going to hold up for four rounds under the most pressure we feel all year. So balancing the amount of balls you hit and the chips and putts, and having a good understanding of the golf course you're going to play all helps. I sacrifice probably a couple of tournaments here and there to spend time looking at a golf course and doing the homework and getting comfortable. If that gives me a chance to win, that's not a very big sacrifice for me to make, in my mind.

Q. There wasn't any temptation to play in Aberdeen last week?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I've played Royal Aberdeen before, and I know it's a great track. But in a sense the way I see it, and it might be wrong, but why play that links when you can play this one? I feel like I can come out here and learn the golf course I'm trying to perform on.

Q. I think you were one of many Australians (inaudible). Is that motivation for you to emulate Greg?
ADAM SCOTT: Of course, you want to emulate what your childhood hero has done, and Greg winning The Open, it's always sat very high with me. And watching Baker-Finch win it, as well, in the fashion he did, was pretty spectacular. It's got a huge amount of meaning to me. I think it does to all the golfers. And Phil Mickelson, I really liked what he said, he felt like a complete golfer after he'd won this, because it's such a different test and examination of your game. The conditions are so different than we usually play. And the shots you need to hit at some point, not all of them, but at some point you have to hit something pretty creative that wouldn't work anywhere else, if there was a big water hazard in front of the green. I think the sense of achievement that Phil must have felt or that anyone would feel winning this championship is huge and the history and everything else involved in it. So absolutely I'd love to get my name on the trophy with Greg and the other Aussies.

Q. In terms of your practice and preparation how have you factored in the potential for bad weather? And also, does this golf course, the design and the setup remind you of any of the other Open rota courses?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, there's not much I can do about the weather. I just have to deal with what I get. I've been lucky the last couple of years. I've had lots of different wind directions in the week leading up and I've played in some different ones over the last five or six days. As far as rain goes, rain is rain. If it's windy, it's going to be very difficult to play in the rain. If it just rains, it's no big deal, at all. In fact the course will get softer and probably play a little easier. I think I've played a lot of golf in a lot of different conditions now and I can -- I spent a few years on the European Tour playing in some pretty tough conditions in this neck of the woods, so I can draw on that experience. You just deal with it as it comes.

Q. And the course, does it remind you of --
ADAM SCOTT: It feels maybe a little bit like Lytham. Just the feel of it's quite small. I don't know if that's a very good explanation. They're all so different. But this one maybe, not too dissimilar to Lytham and flat.

Q. Obviously a huge interest in Tiger's return here. Is it of any particular interest or excitement to you, given you took his top ranking? Is it a motivating factor to keep it with him back on the Tour?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it's good that he's back playing. It's good for golf. He generates so much interest. So I'm happy to see that. And I'm sure when he's back out here, getting back in the swing of it, he's only played one event. So he'll be wanting to take his spot back at the top. There are a bunch of us who also want to be in that spot. So it's going to be I think some really good golf in the upcoming months with a lot of big tournaments. And see who wants it the most.

LYNN WALLACE: Thanks very much for joining us. Good luck this week.

ADAM SCOTT: Thanks a lot.
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