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February 27, 2016

Adam Scott

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Adam Scott into the interview room. Adam, if we can just get comments on what was a flawless round of golf, just one hole that got you, but a great round nonetheless.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, sure. I guess that's why they call it the Bear Trap. It got me good today but fortunately I'm playing good enough that I've still got a share of the lead, which is a great position to be in going into tomorrow. Felt like the game is really under control.

I did a lot of things really well today, so it's exactly the round I needed, and you know, need to put one more together tomorrow. It's going to be an exciting day for me.

Q. First of all, what was the club on 15 on the tee shot, and then your decision, it seemed like you were trying to work out whether to go to the front of the drop zone or middle or what, and what you saw there?
ADAM SCOTT: I hit a 6-iron on the first shot and just ballooned it up in the air. Struggled to get there obviously. Yeah, I think it was like 121 from the back of the drop zone or 117 from the front of it, and went to the front and I don't know, hit a good one shot (shrugging shoulders), and just I guess the wind never really touched it. It wasn't low or anything. It was looking pretty good to me. Wind must have laid down a little bit. Just one of those ones where it's the wrong time to make an error, especially with the first shot, I mean. That's the real error.

And to compound it is not good, so pretty costly, but fortunately, had a couple shots to spare. Hopefully it won't cost me too big in the grand scheme of things.

Q. What was the club on 17? Talk about the difficulty of the read of the putt there.
ADAM SCOTT: 17 was a 6-iron again. It was 197 to the hole. It was very straight across wind. That was a really good shot. It was easy to go left there and I aimed it right edge of the bunker and just tried to hit it straight and let the wind move it in and it did just that. Good time to knock a putt in there, too, just to feel like I was on pace with the lead still after having been a few in front.

The greens, yeah, the last couple afternoons, have been a little tricky to read as the sun gets lower. Just trying to identify the grain and the break on that low sun is a bit of a challenge the last couple of holes, so that was a pretty good read there because it was a very straight putt.

Q. How much was the bonus on putt for six, and did it kind of get you going?

Q. No. 6, the long putt.
ADAM SCOTT: No. 6, sorry, yeah. Yeah, they are always a bonus. You're not expecting to make them and if you don't 3-putt it, you're kind of ahead of the game, too. For that to go in was huge because Sergio was off to a quick start. Kind of making some space on everyone.

That one kind of got me going, and then I hit a string of really great shots to finish the front nine and made all the putts and was right there with him. So that was important to maybe just slow him down a little bit.

Q. How difficult is it to keep your composure during a hole like that and how do you go about regaining it, if you lost it?
ADAM SCOTT: I mean, I think I've experienced things along those lines plenty of times in this game. And you know, really didn't hit too many bad shots to make a 7. That's how challenging holes like 15, 16 and 17 are. I grinded out a four on 16 after a sloppy tee shot, and then back to hitting really good shots on 17. It's what you have to do to stay in golf tournaments. It could easily fall apart, and go from a commanding position to struggling to be in the tournament tomorrow. That's what you have to do, just keep grinding until the round's over.

Q. It looked like you were almost smiling as you were playing that hole at some point. I don't know for sure.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, what else can you do? It took me five goes to get a ball dry (laughs).

Q. On top of what you said about your game today, what's been the strength of your game over the three days, do you think?
ADAM SCOTT: I've definitely hit the ball a step up this week from last week. I've driven the ball great. I switched to a new Titleist driver earlier in the week. That was a good switch. I switched iron shafts last week and that was a good switch, too. My ball-striking has really gone up a level. The swing is in a really good spot. And then I made a few putts to kind of complement that from probably just hitting it a little bit closer.

You need to hit it very good around this track. It's very hard to scramble for four days and contend around here.

Q. Just given the difficulty of this course, how far back is too far back for the guys tomorrow, Top-10 or?
ADAM SCOTT: Hopefully two or however many back the nearest bloke is to many and Sergio (laughter). Look, it's possible someone goes out and has a low round, you know, you can play well around here and shoot even par. So if someone can post early, you never know. I don't know what the conditions will be.

Q. Would you take 9-under now?
ADAM SCOTT: No. I think Sergio's playing pretty solid, as well. He looks like he's got his game under control. He's a great player. I think we're both pretty desperate to have a win tomorrow after putting ourselves in this position, so hopefully we both play well and it's a good show.

Q. Compared to the first two days, were conditions better or easier today to score well?
ADAM SCOTT: I think they might have been slightly easier. The wind was in a slightly different direction today, and probably not blowing quite as hard. It made maybe for a few more crosswind shots, but the strength of the wind wasn't severely affecting the flight of the golf ball. Like the first couple of days, I felt I played in some pretty strong winds and was quite tough.

It doesn't matter; this course is always a challenge.

Q. Have you ever had a 65 with a quad?
ADAM SCOTT: (Chuckles) not that I can recall off the top of my head, no.

Q. You said to us at the end of last year that you were giving yourself until April to be the best putter in the world. Where would you say you are with that?
ADAM SCOTT: Probably have a little ways to go to get to the best putter in the world by April, but maybe on the right path anyway, which I feel like I'm getting more and more confident each time I play. I've only played twice this year, so it can only go as quick as I play, I guess. But with my schedule upcoming, I think that gives me ample time to feel like I'm one of the best putters by the time I get to Augusta.

Q. You mentioned the word desperate just a second ago. Curious, is it difficult to sort of not chase or press to try to get that win?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely, yeah. Of course both want to win, and so does everyone else playing tomorrow. But you know, you've got to go through the motions. It's a long day, even though it's down to just 18 holes left. So much can happen, especially at a golf course like this. There's trouble waiting on every misjudgment or poor swing. I'm just going to try and play that solid round of golf and give myself as many opportunities as I can.

Q. You did match the low round, 66, with a quad. How do you walk away from today with that in mind?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I'm playing great. I have to say, I've played better every day this week, and it started pretty good. It's disappointing not to have walked out of here and shot 62 or something like that but it might be tomorrow that I can do that.

Q. In terms of the rhythm of your swing today and the way you played, when is the last time you felt that good for that stretch of holes?
ADAM SCOTT: It's hard, it's really hard to pinpoint it. It's felt good all this week but maybe back at the U.S. Open last year, I felt I was swinging the club really well, really in control, or completely in control, kind of like I had it going today. You only get those feelings a few times a year I think. So it would be great to take advantage of it this week.

Q. And secondly, as nicely as you were swinging, the tee shot on 16, how much of that was a product of moving on from 15?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it was probably more a product of yesterday's shot. I tried to hit the same shot off the tee and kind of slide it on to the fairway, and I tried to do that yesterday and I hit it almost in the same place. It was worse yesterday but that's not the most comfortable tee shot for me to set up there, and I don't think I've hit the fairway there this week. So tomorrow, that will be the goal.

Q. The par there, almost as important as the birdie on 17?
ADAM SCOTT: The par there was very important at the time, because it's really stopping a severe bleed after 15. (Laughter) The up-and-down there felt great, and then even better to make two on 17. But if I parred my way in, I wouldn't have been disappointed.

Q. Obviously kind of had that shootout-feel round to it. Do you like that better, or a casual kind of round for you?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I like the shootout. If it comes down to just two guys at the end of the woke, that's a pretty good spot to be. I like that, because there's a 140-odd starting. If it's just down to two, there's only one for me to worry about.

Q. At the start of the day, you probably might be thinking,66 is a pretty good score to come away with. Can you walk away with that attitude now, say that to yourself and forget about what happened?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely. That's a great score. 66 is a hell of a score around here, and I'm very happy with that. If it was four bogeys and eight birdies, I'd still be really happy with that.

JOHN BUSH: Adam Scott, thank you, sir.

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