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March 11, 2015

Adam Scott


DOUG MILNE:  Okay.  We'll go ahead and jump right in.  Adam Scott, thanks for joining us for a few minutes here at the 2015 Valspar Championship making your 6th start in the event.
You've had a chance to get out and see the course today.  Just some comments on the course and the decision to come back here this year.
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah.  The course is looking just as I remembered, super, super golf course here at Innisbrook, one of the best courses we play on Tour every year and that's a big part of my decision-making in coming back here.
It fit really well in my slightly odd schedule this year as far as my first event was last week and with the late start I needed to get some rounds in certainly before The Masters.  Everyone thinking about that this time of year, and this fit in really nicely.
This is a course I really like and I've had mixed results but there's been lots of good golf played here, just not over four days.  That's what I'm hoping for this year.
DOUG MILNE:  With that we'll open it up and take a few questions.

Q.  You say you only had one round.  What's the shape of your game right now?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah.  I feel good coming off my first week last week.  Obviously I was quietly confident going into last week but when you've had a three month layoff you never quite know what's going to happen when you actually have to add them up in competition and that went well for me last week so coming here to a course I've been looking forward to playing since I mapped out my schedule at the start of the year, I'm going to take on the challenge this week and hopefully do better than I've done in the past.
I'd really love to contend for this title on Sunday.

Q.  The past couple years, the champions here have been guys not quite as well known, guys down in the rankings.
Does it seem this tournament in the middle of the Florida swing and just a month before The Masters kind of a good primer to jump start somebody's year?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, definitely.  It's in a tough spot in the schedule, that's for sure, right off the back of World Golf Championship and right before Arnold's event.
Obviously there's a lot of pressures to play in both of those tournaments and sometimes I think unfortunately this one has kind of got the short straw but I enjoy playing courses I really like and I really like this golf course and that's why I'm here.
So the last couple of years, you know, some new guys have taken advantage of maybe a slightly not as strong a field as maybe a couple of the other events like PGA National or at Arnold's and taking full advantage of it which is fantastic, but I'm hoping to kind of jump start my year here this week and get in contention and try to get a win.  I'd be really happy to have won a tournament around a quality track like this.

Q.  Why do you think some of the guys, the more well-known guys, guys higher in the rankings don't play this one?
ADAM SCOTT:  It's tough.  It's just how you like to schedule yourself and, you know, it's been great that I've managed to fit it in my schedule on and off the last few years, I guess my 6th start here so, you know, I certainly favor coming here because I like the golf course and this year was perfect.
There's events every week and, unfortunately, not everyone is going to play in all of them so some place is going to miss out.  Like I said, I feel like maybe it's been a little hard to come by because I think the course is of high quality as far as Tour courses go.

Q.  Each year this tournament comes along, it usually gets mentioned as a ball striker's golf course.  To you guys what does being a good ball striker mean?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah.  I guess you're looking at someone who can really control the golf ball very well in all areas of the game and, you know, I look at a guy like Jim Furyk as maybe the best ball striker out here for a long period of time.  I think he's got total control over his golf ball a lot of the time.
You know, every time I play with him it seems like he really has it under control and that's why he's been so successful on the Tour.  It wouldn't surprise me if he's won the event here, I can't think if he has or hasn't.
ADAM SCOTT:  I know John Senden won last year and he's consistently a greens in regulation leader on the Tour or very high up in greens in regulation and the greens are the challenge around here.  There's a lot of movement on the greens.  Chipping and -- is awkward.  The rough is up and you lose control when there's slope and rough to deal with chipping.
If you're on the green a lot you're giving yourself a much better chance for a good score.  I think it starts back at the tee but obviously some good solid ball striking takes out a lot of problems here.

Q.  To most people, everybody here hits it great but when you talk about good ball-strikers, what's the percentage on Tour that you think are golfers and real ball-strikers?
ADAM SCOTT:  It would be a bit of a guess.  I think there are certainly stand out ball-strikers but as this course is not overly long, I think it certainly opens this field up with a chance to win.
Certainly length is an advantage anywhere but this course maybe not as much as the course last week.  So, I think as far as percentage goes, there's a really small percentage of elite ball-strikers out there that are at a level above probably the majority of players out there.  If you're talking about the absolute best, there's probably ten percent group.

Q.  You always talk about the scheduling and the peeking for the Majors.  The Masters being 8 months away from the last, the last Major.
Do you find it, is it tougher or easier and also another question will be, have you been trying anything new since the last PGA technique-wise with Coach Malone?
ADAM SCOTT:  I think it's probably easier having 8 months so you can make some really good plans.  There's no rush and no need to panic with 8 months up your sleeve.  If you don't have your game after the PGA, it can certainly turn around before The Masters with a good plan.
It can be tougher during the year once the Majors start if your game loses a bit of momentum and you only have a couple of weeks to turn it around in between U.S. Open and the Open Championship.  There's no guarantee that you're going to find it in that time.
So, scheduling and your preparation is of huge importance at that point and it always is but you have more time between the PGA and The Masters and as far as changing things, always looking to refine and get better and make sure my swing is in a good position and that's what Brad, he monitors that very closely for me.  Some minor changes in equipment with a new golf ball from Titleist and a new driver from Titleist and some experimentation with some new shafts as well, always maybe looking for a little advantage if I can find it somewhere.
But very small adjustments.  But I've certainly found a little bit of distance with the new driver and new golf ball.

Q.  You mentioned there's a lot of movement on these greens.  How does the short putter feel up there on the greens so far?
ADAM SCOTT:  I played there morning and bit of moisture.  Probably not at tournament speed.  So it was pretty friendly out there this morning.  It will be fine.
I felt good with it last week and that's why I wanted to give it a run and made a lot of putts.  Overall I had a really good week putting and, you know, I don't expect anything different this week.

Q.  Adam, you won 16 events with a short putter.  The golfing fan and the media, are we making too much of it that you went back and, also looking back four years ago when you talked about my short putting was really ruining my good golf and frustrated, was it more mental or was that more of a technique thing that you were lacking at that time, looking back?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah.  First part, I think for sure I think it's probably made a bit too much of a big deal about it.  Like you said, I won 16 events with a short putter in my career.  It's not unfamiliar to me really to putt with a short putter.  Maybe for some guys who have never putted with it it might be a big deal, I don't know.
But the second part of your question, I think it stood as a technical issue, some fundamentals of my putting were bad and then eventually because of bad fundamentals and a non-repetitive stroke all the time it became mental and I made that comment and I think back now to that time, I was hitting the ball incredibly well if you look at my statistics, tee to green in 2010 I believe I was leading strokes gained and -- but my inconsistent putting was so frustrating I needed to make a drastic change and I did and it was the best thing I could have done at that time and now I feel this week the best thing I can do is putt the way I did last week and hopefully improve and continue to gain confidence.  Hopefully all the fundamentals are under control.

Q.  How many different style putters have you tried since the end of last year to come up with the current one?
ADAM SCOTT:  Maybe only two, three, yeah.  I have pretty strong belief about what I need and in a putter head and what I want to get out of it.  There were only two, three candidates that I felt was appropriate for me to try going to a short putter and that's where I'm at right now.
DOUG MILNE:  All right.  Adam, as always, we appreciate your time.  Hope to see a lot in here this week.
ADAM SCOTT:  That will be great.  Thank you.

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