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April 7, 2015

Adam Scott


MODERATOR:  Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  It's always a pleasure, it's a special pleasure to have our 2013 Masters Champion, Adam Scott, join us in Augusta.
Adam made his mark in the Masters Tournament history as the first Australian to win a green jacket.  This week, playing in his 14th Masters, he will attempt to become the 18th two‑time champion in Masters history.
2014 was another banner year for Adam, notching ten Top‑10 finishes on the PGA TOUR, as well as his 11th career victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
Adam continued a stellar performance at the golf's majors with a career best tie for ninth at the U.S. Open and a tie for 5th finish at the British Open, his third consecutive Top‑5 finish there, I might add.
Before we open up to questions, could you comment on your mindset returning to Augusta National this year versus last year when you were the defending champion?
ADAM SCOTT:  Sure, thanks.  I think coming back here is always a special feeling no matter what, when you get the invitation to come and play.
But since winning, it's been so much more to me.  It's been an incredible two years since winning of trying to immerse myself in the Tournament and the golf club even more than I had before.  I've enjoyed that thoroughly.
Last year was a little hectic and a little different.  I tried to embrace the experience of being the defending champion and hosting the Champion's Dinner, not knowing what to expect with a lot of things, but enjoyed it all the way.
Also tried to get myself ready to defend the title, which unfortunately I didn't, but coming back this year all the good memories will keep coming back and slightly less responsibility this year.  Enjoy all the perks of being a former champion and then focus on Thursday to get down to business.

Q.  So have you enjoyed being somewhat under the radar given all the hype around Tiger and Rory and the rest?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, I think it's suited me nicely so far.  Obviously I haven't played lots of golf this year, and to kind of just go about my business the last couple weeks, and then come here for the last few days and get familiar with the golf course and feel comfortable and put everything I've worked on into practice out there has been nice.
There's big stories in golf this week, and I certainly am not missing being one of them at the moment.  But hopefully that will change Sunday (smiling).

Q.  How would you describe your comfort going back to the long putter?
ADAM SCOTT:  It's very, very easy.  It's what I've been doing for four years.  I just switched up for three weeks, and so to go back was a piece of cake.  And really two days practice with it and I felt like I was at the levels I was at last year, which are very high, and that was the reason for it.
I'm coming to a major.  I'm not here to throw the balls up in the air and see where they fall.  I want to make sure I give myself the best chance to perform at the highest level I need to to win.  Basically that will be with the longer putter because I've done more practice with it.

Q.  Will you continue with the longer putter following the Masters?
ADAM SCOTT:  Most likely, I think so.  You know, doesn't mean I won't work on other things or continue to develop some alternative method of putting, because obviously there is a change being made at the end of the year.
But I need to continue to perform well.  I want the confidence to build and go into next year fully confident no matter what I'm doing.  So I've got time up my sleeve and it's a bit of a process, and that's fine.

Q.  When we saw you at Doral, you seemed pretty convicted that this change would be permanent.  Can you talk about the process that you did go through to come back to where you are now?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, it's very interesting, on quick, fast greens at Doral, it was really nice.  And then going to the next two weeks, they were not quick and fast, and the adjustment was much bigger than I thought, considering I've done not much practice with it and everything.  I didn't make that adjustment quick enough, so I was a little out of my comfort zone, I guess, those two weeks.
It was good info to have so I can plan for that the next time I part with a different method, but I'm not really sold on anything.  But when you go out to play, I've got to convince myself that it's the right way.  So no matter what I show up with, I'm going to say, this is the way to go.

Q.  Can you describe the emotions you go through on a Saturday evening when you're in contention at the Masters and what are the biggest challenges you face on Sunday?
ADAM SCOTT:  I really only have two experiences of being in contention Saturday evening where I felt I had a realistic chance to win without something miraculous happening, and that was in 2011, I was close.  That was the first time, and it was extremely exciting, but just for me, trying to keep myself calm, get to sleep and go out and do the same stuff you've done for the other three days and hope everything falls your way and get that bit of winner's luck you need.  The first time was tough.
The second time was more enjoyable.  I think I had a close call, and I felt at the time I did everything I could to win, given the position I was in late in the day.  And something fantastic happened for Charl and he birdied four holes and there was not much I could do.  But I had the confidence that I performed well in that situation, just not the best that day.
And in 2013, it was just more enjoyable.  I think I knew what I was getting myself into, so it was slightly easier.  Although, it's not very easy teeing it up on the first at this tournament any round.

Q.  What about the back nine?  What do you experience and what are the challenges you faced trying to keep everything together?
ADAM SCOTT:  I think it's just the opportunity.  If you're there, it's nine holes that anything can happen on.  And there's an opportunity for a great score; if all the work that you've done, put in, can come through, and you just have to get out of your own way and let that happen.
That's easy to do for nine holes, and probably harder to do for 72.  You've got to kind of control yourself for a long time to get yourself in a position to do that, and then you've got to be able to consciously get out of your own way and enjoy that moment.  And I think that's what I was getting at, in '11, I was pretty tense the whole time once I had a chance which early on the back nine, I knew I had a chance.
And in '13, I was a little more free, and things weren't really going my way, but I played well enough to end up making the putt when it counted.

Q.  The golf course looks like it's playing extremely long.  Is that a fair assessment, and if so, do you feel like it limits a number of people who can potentially win if it's playing extremely long?
ADAM SCOTT:  I agree with that a little bit, yeah.  It depends on the greens a little bit, as well, though.  The greens seem a little soft‑‑ I hate to say too much (laughter), all of a sudden it won't be on Thursday.
Maybe if the greens are a little softer at the moment than we usually see them in the tournament, it might open it up, but generally the course does play long and firm, if that makes sense, then guys hitting in with more loft are at a bigger advantage, absolutely.
I don't think it's playing super long.  That's not what I found.  There's still some run in the fairway.  But certainly the greens are responding well to shots in.

Q.  I was going to ask you, in that last year as Masters Champion, you probably wore the green jacket all over the world, probably more places than a lot of other former champions, but coming back here and wearing it for the one week, how does that differ?
ADAM SCOTT:  It's a great feeling to come back and the jacket is hanging in the locker.  Even better, it's hanging next to Gary Player's in the locker I share with him.  To be able to slip it on at any point here for the week is really fun, to present the trophies to all the kids in the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship the other day, and I'll have the chance to wear it tonight; I'll have a chance to wear it to the dinner, and then I might just slip it on to walk around at any other time.  I mean, it's a great feeling.  Put it on, it still fits.  It feels very good.
I was here a couple weeks ago and had dinner at the club and put it on, and I couldn't help but feel like my old friend was back on the shoulders.  It was a nice feeling for sure.

Q.  Does it give you that extra sort of spring in your step this week, knowing that you are a past champion?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think so.  I really feel like as far as playing the golf course goes, the last five years, I've got more and more comfortable with it.
I came back a couple weeks ago after not being here for nearly a year, and really had a great feeling out on the course and I certainly think that's grown since winning the tournament in 2013.

Q.  You mentioned the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship.  What can you say about that experience with the kids?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, I was really blown away last year when I came on the Sunday and saw how the whole event was running; how good it is for the game of golf.  I truly think they are onto something in growing the game this way; seeing the number of entries double from the first year almost is proof of that.  I think it was about 30,000 entrants for this year's event.
They are going to come here and there are going to be some winners and they are not all going to turn into Masters champions or the best golfer in the world, but they are going to get into the game, and that's what we need and that's what it's about.  But I think it's such a great motivator for kids to have that dream and to be able to come here at a very young age.

Q.  On that note, would you like to see it become, say, rather than the national finals as it is right now, but the international finals and have kids from all over the world coming to do it?  And where will you sit tonight at the Champions Dinner given that you are not at the head of the table?
ADAM SCOTT:  Ultimately, it might.  I don't see why not.  I really feel like that the golf club here at Augusta National seemed to be on a front foot with innovating the game and growing the game and taking the initiative to do the right things for the game.  It's possible; it sounds about.  The logistics may be tough, but lots of things keep changing and seemingly for the better around here to do anything with the golf.  It would be pretty incredible if that were to happen, if that were possible, and I can only imagine good for the game.
Tonight, I don't know if I have to kind of fight for a position around the table or what I'm meant to do (laughter) but I'll try not to step on anyone's toes and get their noses out of joint.  But pretty happy just to be there.

Q.  Curious, you've had veteran caddies most of the time you've been here.  Mike has decent experience here, doesn't he, and do you have enough confidence in him that you feel like you can rely on him?
ADAM SCOTT:  Absolutely, full stop.  He's been on Tour for 12 years and he's caddied for a list of great players over the years and has a lot of experience.  I feel my experience, as well, we should complement each other with that and make a good team.  It's an exciting week for both of us, and I've got to lean on my experience, as well, around here to get me around.
And I think over the last few years, like I said, I've developed a good knowledge of how I should play this golf course.  You know, there's good dialogue between us on that.

Q.  You mentioned being here a couple of weeks ago.  Curious how much time you actually spent here and do you have similar scouting trips planned for the other three majors this year?
ADAM SCOTT:  So I was just here for the day actually, just to play 18 holes.  And it's just really to see the course.  Of course I know what it's like, but to then go home and practice with it in the back of the mind and get familiar with things, see a couple shots, understand some of the severe lies you might face on the golf course.
Not necessarily to work on it, but just to be prepared for it and refamiliarize, I guess, with it.  I like to do that.  It's not a big scouting trip where I have to learn the golf course.  I've played a lot of rounds here.
The other majors this year, certainly the U.S. Open is a little different.  It's going to be the first look at the course, and I'll go early and try and get as many rounds in as I can the week before, and I do similar at The Open Championship.
The PGA we've played a couple of times.  It may be a couple less rounds because the schedule is a little tougher at that time of year.  But I think it's good to go and get a look early and just get yourself set for what you could be in for.

Q.  A lot of golfers when they finally win a major, they plateau a little bit.  It's such a huge goalthat it ‑‑ you won at Colonial last year, but did you experience that after winning the Masters?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, not really.  I really tried to push myself through 2013 and keep playing at a high level and take advantage of whatever momentum and confidence I got out of winning the Masters, which was a lot.  I thought I did a pretty good job of that, and then tried to keep it going through 2014.
Last year I felt I gave myself a lot of opportunities to win golf tournaments, but only won one at Colonial.  That was the disappointing part of that for me last year was not winning more when I felt I had a good chance to.
But that's the state of the game out here.  We don't see a lot of guys winning a lot, and to break through and be one of the few guys who can win a lot is the next challenge for me I feel; if I can keep my game at this high level, and that's what I'm trying to do.
So the standard of golf is high and winning a lot is difficult.  We're not seeing a lot of it.  That's my challenge this year for myself.

Q.  At this moment in time, do you see yourself playing with a long putter in all four majors this year, or would you like to have changed by the Open or the U.S. PGA?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, I don't really have any fixed idea on that.  I'll probably sit here right now, and say I would putt with the long putter.
Like it was mentioned, at Doral, I was sold on the short putter and there's a million different options in between, as well.  At the moment, I see myself putting with the long putter.

Q.  There's quite a long list of golfers who won at the Masters and gone on to win multiple green jackets.  Why do you think that is?
ADAM SCOTT:  I certainly think you get a good feel for the golf course and the tournament and how to play it, like I said a little bit in the last few years.  When I won, I had been feeling more and more comfortable here, and then to break through and win, it's not necessarily a surprise, but it kind of goes with the trend of how I was feeling.
I was feeling better and better playing the course from tee‑to‑green, and then it was a matter of making the putts at the right time throughout the week or on the final hole.  And then the confidence and belief that you know how to do it; you know your way around this golf course.  Doesn't surprise me that quite a few guys have gone on to win multiple green jackets.

Q.  There seems to be a lot of players playing really well coming into this week, and seem to be a lot of people who have got a good chance.  Are you someone who takes a strong interest in what other people are doing, and who do you see as the main challengers this week?
ADAM SCOTT:  I think I have a good idea of what's going on out there.  It would be silly not to.  It's kind of my field; I need to know what's happening out there.  But that doesn't necessarily influence what I do.  It's interesting to follow golf because I'm a golfer.  I like golf.  Pretty much like everyone.
Look, Bubba's‑‑ as I sit here and talk about my comfort level of playing the golf course, you can what Bubba's must feel like.  He's won two of the last three.  It's seemingly made for his kind of game, and he's playing nicely, as well.
Rory, of course, has been so dominant over the last eight months or so, certainly in the majors.  It's hard to look past those two.
But then there are other guys on form; and I talk about Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth would be the my top three off the top of my head, and I probably forget guys.  There are a lot of guys.
Dustin Johnson, you would think it would suit him really well, as well, if he plays anything like he did at Doral, it was a display of driving.  So these guys are in the best form and playing the best, they certainly must have high hopes this week.

Q.  You didn't mention Tiger Woods in that list of golfers.  What kind of display are you expecting from him in the next few days?
ADAM SCOTT:  My guess is as good as yours.  I really don't know.  I have no idea what he's been doing.  I've listed a bunch of guys that I've watched play a little bit and followed their results, but it's a little bit unknown with Tiger because he hasn't played for a few months.  But that doesn't mean anything.  If you go off what I did, I didn't play for three months and came out and finished fourth at Doral.
When you're talking about a world‑class player, you just don't know.  I'm sure he has high hopes.  His level of comfort around this golf course must be extremely high, and he returned off a break before here and finished Top‑5, I believe.  So with Tiger, anything's possible.

Q.  I wonder what your initial thoughts are when you look back at the footage from that winning putt, or even the putt on 18, whenever you see your reaction from outside in, what do you initially think these days?
ADAM SCOTT:  I always think, I can't believe that's me playing.  It's a strange feeling to watch yourself at all, but certainly in that moment and understanding how big it is for a golfer to be in that moment.
I think it's just truly unbelievable.  Really, it's amazing that it happened.  Of course, that's all the stuff I practiced for, but it's truly amazing that it just happened that the ball went in on 18.  Can't believe it.  Feels like‑‑ didn't particularly feel like a more purer putt than any other putt.  It just went in.
The same at 10.  At 10, it was more willing the ball in the hole, but you can't really see that when you watch it.  It just all kind of happens, and it went in and it didn't miss, and it really is amazing.  But I think, as I watch that putt on 10, the emotion is the first thing.  It's unbelievable, but it's all just in there, and really, it's amazing.

Q.  Have you talked to Bubba lately?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, I spoke with him on Sunday.  Saw him out there in the champion's locker room.  He was going around for a round with his wife and I was going around with my dad.  That was a fun day for us, certainly, as past champions being able to bring a guest to play.
It's been a lot of fun to be able to play with my dad here the last couple years, but I think mom's looking for a hit next year.
MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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