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March 6, 2016
CHRIS REIMER: We want to welcome and congratulate our champion of the World Golf Championships - Cadillac Championship, Adam Scott.
Adam, two in a row, special victory today. If you could, just talk about how difficult it was, not only just to win today, but to go back-to-back in back-to-back weeks.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, really can't believe it. I don't think I've processed what's happened, especially today's round. It was ugly and good, all in 18 holes. But to win a World Golf Championships means a lot to any of us. And I've been playing here, I feel like, for 12 years, and I've played well at times, but never really had a chance to win.
Special to win at this golf course and beat this great field. Feels pretty good.
Q. On that front nine, was there a spell in which you thought you couldn't win, you had played yourself out of it, and what was your thought process? Was it that you had to go for it? You had two double-bogeys and I think a lot of people thought you had played your way out of winning.
ADAM SCOTT: I think after the second double-bogey, winning was kind of far from the front of my mind. And at that point, I took a moment to think about kind of just gaining some traction on the round before it slips away and I shoot 80 because it's possible around this is course. To keep missing it like I did in the water, there's just no escape from it.
Took a moment to myself on the sixth, and figured there were chances downwind a little bit the next few holes that if I could get two birdies by the turn, then not too much damage is done and maybe with a great back nine, I might be in with a chance.
By the time I had made the turn, I had made a couple birdies, and Rory had dropped a shot and I thought with a great back nine I was in with a chance, and what's that I tried to do.
And then all of a sudden, I just started getting nice numbers into the greens, and I kind of hit my way to win this tournament. I hit it close three times on the back nine and four times, I hit a 3-wood on the green and 2-putted on 10 and then hit it to four feet or less, three other times, and that's kind of how it all happened. Took a lot of pressure off on some hard holes.
Q. And the double --
ADAM SCOTT: Oh, sorry, got carried away with my answer there. On a day like today when it's tough, you need a lot of things to go your way, and I wasn't completely shattered on the sixth tee, but I was pretty disappointed because it wasn't the start I had in mind. You just never know. Even with guys playing great, it's just one or two shots, and that cost me four shots out there and it could happen to someone else. You've always got to try and stay positive. Otherwise, it can get away from you.
Amazing playing the last few holes in contention today. The nerves and the adrenaline was really pumping.
Q. You talked about ugly but good. Do you take any special satisfaction from the idea that you really to grind this one out? Does it stand above maybe an easier round, and I'm sure you'd want it that way, but does it stand out?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's just bizarre because I hit some horrible shots today (laughing). I think you have this picture in your mind that you've got to play so beautifully to win all the time, and sometimes, especially at a golf course like this, in windy conditions like this, it can't be that pretty unless you play one of the rounds of your life.
It was hard for everyone out there, and I told myself that a couple times out there today. But yeah, I mean, look, I'm really proud that I was able to come back when it wasn't feeling good after five holes and the swing had not felt good the whole weekend at that point, and managed to find my rhythm again in these windy conditions. All of a sudden it felt a little easier on the back nine.
Q. Talking to David, I asked him about the bunker shot at 16, and it kind of surprised him and he said it stunned you. He said you actually apologized to him. You just said -- and he said, nothing to apologize for. What was your reaction when you hit that shot?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I was so embarrassed to do that playing with Phil Mickelson (laughter). I mean, he would be lipping it out or holing it, and I'm shanking it nearly into the next bunker.
It shocked me a bit. I just tried to be too fancy and probably showing off in front of Phil a little bit (laughter). I wish I could tell you I had a bad lie or it was a hard shot. It wasn't any of it. It was just a complete error. But importantly, I got it up-and-down. And I said sorry to Clarky, because you know, I felt if I get that up-and-down, I'll go on and win. I have a two-shot cushion at that point, and I felt really in control, and then all of a sudden, a lot of things run through your mind.
So you know, I wanted to close it out and I wasn't doing a good job of it on 16.
Q. David also said that on 12, I believe, you had the same wind, same distance, as one of your -- was it 5? So, are you -- what was your mind-set, are you think, well, I'll do better on this; what are you thinking?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I hit a good one shot on 5. Too good, I guess. I don't know how far over the green it flew. It didn't matter; it goes in the water.
But I hit a good one shot and I just got it wrong. It's a mistake and unfortunately it cost me two there.
And on 12, is its with a the same direction, the same yardage, and I end up hitting a club more than I did on -- back on 5. It's just you can't -- you sit there, and that's why I took so long thinking about it, because the numbers are just the same and I've hit it past the pin on 5. Yet I stood there and felt like I'm not sure it's going to go past the pin still, and if it's short in the bunker, that's a real error when you've got 20 yards of green long. And I ended up hitting a much better shot controlled with the other club, and it worked out well. Sometimes things just don't add up in this game it seems.
Q. Two questions. First, do you see any parallels between this week and last week, winning with some ugliness during the final round? And can you take us through your thought process and the reaction to the second shot on 18?
ADAM SCOTT: Last week felt a little more under control than here. Yeah, I can think -- I hooked a drive off the 10th and was out of position, but it wasn't really ugly stuff. There was lots of good golf. It was just, again, it's a tough course. I mean, when you're in that position, it's hard to just go out and shoot 65 on tough courses. It doesn't just happen all the time. I thought it was really solid stuff last week. Today was a little bit different. There was some ugly shots and some ugly results.
I think this course in these conditions, that can happen more than probably up at PGA National. I mean, it just demands such precision on a day like today, that specific wind direction and stuff, you're going to get out of position because the risk of hitting it into a good spot is almost too much because the penalty is water, and you drop 200 yards back and then you don't have a good option hitting too much club into the green.
I felt a lot more under control last week.
And then on 18, I hit the shot really solid. I hit it right where I aimed it. I had to aim left and the wind just wasn't really moving it. Maybe it was too low but I hit it really solid. I wasn't surprised it carried. But I was surprised it stayed up in the hazard. Thank goodness for that.
When you win after something like that, that's winner's luck, really. Those things even out over a long period of time where at some point, I would have hit that shot and it's bounced back in and you don't win, and other times it stays up and you do. To take advantage of it feels really good. But they even out when you're there a lot, and it's a good thing to be there for that to happen or not to happen.
Q. A couple different things. What was the club on 6?
ADAM SCOTT: An 8-iron.
Q. And then at what point does having a chance to win or are you thinking you could win, sort of move back into the forefront of your mind, and how much did that sort of spill into kind of the rest of your game and give you momentum?
ADAM SCOTT: I guess I caught a glimpse of the board after I birdied 11 and I think I might have been tied for the lead at that point. But it's a long way to go. But the thought's there. You can't not think, because you're in that position; you're tied for the lead.
But maybe on 15 tee, I might have been leading by two, I don't know, but that's when now you've got to close it out. And even though it's just a wedge par three and a drivable four coming up, that doesn't guarantee birdies. You still have to hit good shots and have to make putts, and I just kept telling myself coming down the stretch, you're going to have to make putts to win this tournament.
I had a couple good chances coming in. I made a good putt on 16 in the end for a par, and then I hit a really nice putt on 17 that didn't go in and then made that one on 18. I just kind of prepared myself on 15 that you're going to have to make a putt. You're not going to just ball-strike your way into win this. You're going to have to make something, and I expected someone else to, as well.
In saying all that, I feel like I managed my own emotions pretty well at that point.
Q. You mentioned winning ugly, and you've had tournaments where you've kind of lost in all sorts of manner. What point in your career did you figure out you maybe didn't have to necessarily always be perfect and that sort of thing to win these things?
ADAM SCOTT: Maybe today (laughter). Yeah, I just think -- I was so into my own game, certainly on the back nine today, I wasn't probably realizing that it was hard for everyone at that point. And you know, just of course the 18th hole here, we've talked about it a bunch. But when it's blowing 20 off the left, it's so hard to hit the fairway and I hit a pretty good drive, and then you're behind the tree.
I think it almost looks uglier than it really is. I mean, it wasn't a bad drive and I didn't think it was that bad a second shot, but I wasn't in a good spot after two. I'm in the hazard.
Q. I noticed during the last few days, that you are interacting a little bit with the people out there yesterday, joking a little bit with reporters out on 14 saying, now we all know how I got that shot. And today, also interacting a little bit and joking, having a little fun with volunteers. Would you say that's something that you've done more in the latter years than before in your career, and is that sort of coming into your own, would you say?
ADAM SCOTT: I think that's probably fair to say. If I was critical of myself, I think I probably get very serious on the golf course, and sometimes you've got to lighten up and have some fun. And I got a message from my dad this week and he said it looked like I was having fun out there, and I should be; I won last week and I'm playing really good. It should just be fun. Of course it's serious and I want to compete and I don't want to do stupid things.
But I quite have enjoyed all those things that you said, and I think it's quite good for me to kind of balance my own personality out there to keep me in a good spot to perform at my best. So I think you're very accurate with all that.
Q. Are you the Masters favorite now?
ADAM SCOTT: No. I think Bubba is.
Q. Can you expand on that? What do you need to do then to become that person? Win again?
ADAM SCOTT: I just find it hard to put -- even if I won every tournament I play before the Masters, if Bubba keeps finishing second, I'd still think he's favored. It just sets up so good there for him. Obviously his record there is amazing the last couple of years. He's got to be feeling great about his game.
You know, I'm happy if my name is in the mix. I wouldn't shy away from it. I'm not just trying to put the pressure on Bubba, but he's obviously playing fantastic. He won L.A. and second here, and Augusta around the corner, he's got to be thinking this is looking really good for him.
Q. But surely you're taking extreme confidence forward now?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, absolutely. I'd love to just bottle up where my game's been at the last couple weeks and move forward a month. That's going to be the hard thing for me to do is to manage my expectations and also manage my game to keep it right here.
You know, I can't just keep pushing. I have to pace myself kind of so I don't over-work it and try and get too prepared and do all that. It's finding that balance the next month for me that's going to be really important, but obviously the confidence is going to be high right now. So I just want to do everything to keep that there.
Q. Your attitude after the doubles that you could make birdies, the course is playing hard for everybody; is that something that comes with being 35 years old, as opposed to when you were in your 20s?
ADAM SCOTT: Only if you've got grey hair would you think like that (laughter). Probably a little bit.
I think one thing I have going for me over the young stars of the game is some experience, and maybe that played a little part in my thinking today. But you know, again, yeah, to have that kind of thought like it's still tough and I didn't need to birdie five in a row to get it straight back. Comes from understanding how World Golf Championships, majors, PLAYERS Championships work, and even Honda Classics on tough golf courses. It's hard to just run away with it.
If Rory went out and shot 67 or 68 today, that's phenomenal. You can't compete against that. But it wasn't easy for him to do that, even playing as good as he is.
Q. In the bigger picture, you move back inside the world's Top-10 last week to nine and this week you're probably going to move deeper inside the Top-10. Wonder your thoughts are now, progressing back to where you were at No. 1 at one stage; is that reachable? Is that too early to sort of think about?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I think probably a mini-goal starting the year or back end of last year was to try and get back to world No. 1. I think it's a fair goal, because I've been there before, and if you get to that point, I think I'm going to achieve what I want in the game.
So that's probably a bit of a long-term goal. I wasn't thinking I should just get there by, you know, September this year or something. Over the next couple of years, give myself a chance to play consistently well and move back up there and get back to No. 1 and hopefully some wins and another major and another major comes along in that time. But it would be amazing to get back there.
Q. You mentioned last week at the Honda, the input that Brett Rumford gave you; did you hear from Brett, and is there any cash forthcoming to the Rumford check account?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, that's funny you say that. I just picked up my phone walking in here and the first message I saw was from Rummy who said he was watching. I haven't sent Brett a check. (Laughter) I'd appreciate it if you didn't print any of this so he doesn't get any ideas, Bernie.
But I watched him put on a short game clinic at Karrinyup on the highlights last week pulling the pin out from 30 yards and chipping in and stuff. That's one of the beautiful things about this game is like sharing information and knowledge and feelings and stuff between pros, and Rummy is probably too generous with his short game advice and we have all benefitted from it. So thanks, Brett.
Q. You probably touched on this in an earlier answer, but I think you're nine years older than Rory McIlroy, and I'm just wondering, where did your experience stand to you today, and what do you know now at your age that maybe you didn't know when you were 26 in terms of attacking and defending on a tough course like this with, say, a three-shot lead?
ADAM SCOTT: Not to say that I have more experience than Rory, because he's won four majors and played in this position a lot in his 26 years already.
And when I was that age, or ten years ago, I had not, and I didn't know how to think or to think it's a hard course, everyone's going to have their struggles today. I probably thought, oh, it had to be so perfect and if it wasn't, you didn't have a chance and I didn't manage my mind or my game well at that point.
You know, I kind of went against my own theory this week because I try and avoid doubles, and worse, because they are very costly. And somehow, I think because I was playing so well, I got away with it.
You know, to understand when you have to miss a green and scramble from 30 yards for par, rather than risk hitting it in the water is important. On the third hole today, I was trying to miss the green. I just hit such a poor shot, I missed it on other side in the water. I was trying to miss it left. But it's those things, and when you execute them, getting it up-and-down for par feels as good as making a birdie.
And I think a few of those things certainly helped me today. I guess I just know how to play tougher golf courses in the bigger tournaments better than ten years ago.
Q. I just wonder on a personal level how fatherhood has affected you, the way you think, your aspirations; it's a big life adjustment. Did that take some time, and how do you think and feel about it now?
ADAM SCOTT: Of course, it's affected me in a huge way. I hope only in a positive way. You know, absolutely my first priority becomes my family and whatever they need.
It's only been a good thing. I think both my wife and I put in a lot of time last year with our daughter, and maybe that had some effect on my golf or maybe not. Maybe my mind was not as switched on. It's hard to know. I don't really care. But I'm happy we did. We were just like any first-time parents, had no clue what we were doing last year and I had no clue how to manage my wife or my daughter or my career at that point (laughter).
And had some big sit-downs at the end of last year and planned this year out a lot better, so we all know what we're doing after nine or ten months of having a child and how we're going to manage that traveling around, and so far, it's gone well.
CHRIS REIMER: Congratulations, Adam.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports