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March 16, 2016
AMANDA HERRINGTON: We'd like to welcome Adam Scott to the Interview Room here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Adam, already a two-time.winner this season, leader of the FedExCup and coming to a place where you're making your 9th start, couple of Top-10s and share a course record here.
You had a week off to reflect on those last two weeks. How are you feeling going into this week?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think I'm pretty refreshed. I had a nice week at home last week. It's back to business now and I've had some good rounds here, I've had some good chances here and like every player feels, this is a tournament you dearly love to win.
So, I'd like nothing more than at 8:00 tomorrow morning to have my head firmly on my shoulders and focused and ready to go and try and continue with some of the form that I've played with the last few weeks.
AMANDA HERRINGTON: With that we'll start with some questions.
Q. Three straight tournaments and three straight chances to win. How does that continue?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't really know how long I can keep it up. You got to take advantage of it while it's there, that's the big thing and obviously I feel confident I can play well this week. Nothing feels any different than when I left Doral and I'd like to get myself in that position to win again this week and keep it running.
To use examples, is not the best but, you know, Tiger kept running for about ten years (laughter). Maybe I've got a couple more weeks in me. Hopefully I haven't peaked too early but that's -- the point is to try to get yourself ready for every tournament you play and managing your schedule and managing, you know, how much energy you spend practicing and playing and then understanding what it takes out of you when you're playing in contention and then resting, getting ready to go again.
I think guys like Tiger and some of the best players of history have showed that they can sustain a high level of golf for fairly long periods of time.
It's just a matter of finding that formula for you. I'm always trying to ask myself the question and be honest do I need rest, do I need practice, what suits me right now.
Q. How much work and how much rest did you do last week and is the balance formula different if you had not been in contention the last three weeks?
ADAM SCOTT: It may be different or may not be. It's so difficult to say because I don't know if I just ran in the middle of the pack for a couple of weeks I probably wouldn't have been as comfortable with my game, I may have practiced more.
But sometimes when there's that frustration with that, it's good to step away for four days and just kind of clear your head and start again.
So, I played Ernie's charity day on Monday after Doral. I didn't hit a ball until Saturday and, you know, took four days of being off and recharging.
I got two big weeks here now and then a week of preparation for the Masters and then the Masters. So the next month to me is pretty full on. To have four days off was very nice.
Q. Adam, the manner in which you won the two events and bouncing back from those difficult holes, is that -- the ability to put that behind you immediately within the round, is that something you believe you've always had, is there a particular secret to, like you said, having that kind of a short memory to just move on to the next tee?
ADAM SCOTT: Sure. I guess somewhat fortunately it's not something I've had to really work on much, making doubles and quadruples bogies and trying to bounce back to win a tournament.
Often those things, you're not doing so well anyway, but I think some of it is down to probably just my kind of natural temperament, how I play the game, which is quite calm, obviously, and some of it must be through experience throughout my career to understand it wasn't a 72nd hole, I didn't make a quad and the tournament is over.
There's still 20 holes to play and I'm one off the lead or leading and I've got a lot -- I'm playing good golf. I've got a lot of chances.
What's important is to not compound the error. A quad is bad enough but I then drove it off the fairway on 16, missed the green and had a fairly straightforward up and down. If I don't get that up and down then it's very hard to feel good going to the next tee.
Getting it up and down was almost like a birdie. It was a momentum shift again and things were back on track and I hit a great shot on 17 and I leave Saturday feeling pretty good about myself. I played an amazing round of golf with a bad hole.
And Sunday at Doral was a little different because I got so far behind, almost the pressure was off and I was just trying to play and not to have a bad score for the rest of the front-9 and then all of a sudden found myself playing great and hitting shots close and, like I said earlier, when you're in that position, you've got to try and capitalize.
I feel like I've been in position to win a few tournaments the last few years and not capitalize as I'd like. That's the most satisfying thing about those two weeks to me was I capitalized when I was playing well.
Q. Where is your confidence with your putter compared to past periods, whether you were using a longer putter or the conventional shaft, what is your confidence right now compared to other periods when you were putting well?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it's fair to say as confident as ever. I feel really, really good over it. I've made a lot of putts and I've made a couple crucial putts which is nice, obviously to kind of have it tested with a 6 or so footer on the last one at Doral the other week for the win. That brings a lot of confidence. I'd put it up there as confident as any period in my career.
Q. Adam, two things. First of all, just curious, is there more stress when you're playing poorly or when you're in contention to win and especially when it's several weeks in a row? What's more stressful?
ADAM SCOTT: I think maybe if it's a few -- I mean three weeks in a row, it certainly had been awhile, if ever, that I had been in that position. I could feel myself getting a little flat on the weekend at Doral for sure.
The finish line was in sight and definitely felt like I put a lot into the few weeks and I can't say I was tired but I just didn't have quite as much pep in my swing maybe over the weekend.
But, certainly can take it out of you a little bit being in contention anytime. But three weeks in a row, yeah, for sure.
Q. Question about the golf course here. Arnold has redone basically the entire golf course, new grasses. I didn't know if you played enough to notice the difference and it's more to your liking.
Do you have a feel for it?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I've always liked the golf course. I think the challenge here has always been trying to get the balance of difficulty and fair test and they've experimented with a lot of things I think here over the years and I haven't played this week but I've chipped and putted so far. I play a Pro-Am this afternoon.
But the new greens seem to be pure and to me that's a big part of where I like to play in my schedule and having pure greens is something we're very spoiled with on the PGA TOUR and -- but, it's all about keeping the putting confidence in the right spot, where we're three weeks out from the first Major of the new year, they have great greens. You don't want to be there slightly concerned about your stroke. You want to see hitting good putts and go in the hole. Fantastic job everyone here at Bay Hill has done to flip the course in 12 months.
Q. You sort of touched on this a minute ago but going back to Honda and the way you bounced back there, would you not have had the success at Doral had you not recovered and won that week and, secondly, was there a time maybe when you wouldn't have bounced back from something like that or maybe a recent time when you wouldn't have been able to kind of recover that way?
ADAM SCOTT: It's hard to know. I mean I felt like I was on a bit of a mission those three weeks. My game was falling into a good spot and, like I said, I really wanted to take advantage because there was some level, memories of the last couple of years where I didn't quite -- certainly last year even the few times I was in contention didn't win and so that was kind of fresh on my mind.
So, had I not won at Honda, I think I could have taken the positives and moved to Doral and given it a shot, but, of course, we don't know. It's all hypothetical. I always try and take the positives out of everything and some losses hurt more than others for sure.
But I was playing so well somehow that week, I managed to recover from a mistake like that.
Q. At some point this Florida swing got really tough scoring-wise and you play three of the four.
I was curious, what would be some of the more daunting shots you face in the finishes of these events and could you address the finish here?
ADAM SCOTT: 15 at Honda is incredibly difficult (laughter). It is. They are very, very difficult golf courses. The set-up like I somewhat addressed just before even here, they really try to toughen this place up a few years back and moving to PGA National, the Honda Classic, it went from venues where many under par won to a very demanding golf course set-up for the PGA TOUR guys.
It's demanding anyway but having so much water and then you add narrow fairways and rough gets tough, and the wind. Tampa didn't look like it played very easy last week, either.
That's a grind. And then you come here, this is demanding in similar kind of ways to PGA National. There's just no recovery from water. Once you're in there you're dropping somewhere and you're scrambling then for bogey or double and it's a very fine line because three shots isn't a lot to be behind when you play on courses like this because from the same position in the fairway one goes in the water and one goes close and the three shots is gone in one swing of the club from each player.
So, I think it's exciting, certainly challenging and adds also to some of that, you know, mental fatigue of trying to figure out how to score around these courses.
But, I think it's a good test of where your game is at and some preparation for what's to come.
Q. On 18 here, the distance that you guys are hitting the ball now, is that less of an intimidating hole like that?
ADAM SCOTT: Not really. I think the drive is maybe less intimidating because we're all going to hit it out there far enough, even if it's in the rough, it's not ideal but it's up there pretty far. Just generally getting the ball closer to the hole is to everyone's advantage.
The second shot when the pin goes around the corner to the right is just a very difficult golf shot. You add any kind of wind you have to be so precise and then gauge the wind correctly, and I'm thinking the greens will be fairly firm considering they're brand new.
We're not going to have a lot to work with. It's an exciting shot and we've seen it all there and I think it's a great finishing hole.
Q. Adam, the world No. 1 ranking is where everyone is trying to get to but it's not without its challenges once you get there.
What were some of the challenges or pitfalls you faced in being the top ranked player?
ADAM SCOTT: I probably wasn't there long enough to really find it too challenging (laughter). That was the challenge (laughter).
I think I was there about 8 weeks. It was fantastic every minute of it.
Q. Two part. Despite how brilliantly you're putting now with the short putter, if you were allowed to, would you consider going back, taking on the belly putter again, and the second part is for recreational players who may be struggling to switch, what can they learn from the process, your process of switching to the short putter?
ADAM SCOTT: If that question was put -- if I was allowed to change back tomorrow, no, I probably wouldn't. I'm quite happy where things are at. I wouldn't change anything that's not really broken.
So, I just keep doing what I'm doing right now but you always have the option I guess if I was allowed to, which is great to have options.
For the recreational golfer, you know, golf, it's hard to find what works for everyone and really, if any advice, I just took all the fundamentals of putting with the broom stick putter and adjusted as best I could to putting with the short putter.
Some of them probably the same or everyone and some of them are different. I know the things Bernhard Langer thought about putting with a broom stick is different than what I thought about, some of the basic fundamentals of what that did and the way the club swung like a pendulum and copy essentially with my short putter.
Q. As you were mapping out this season and everything that's facing you, where did you put the Olympics as importance for you?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I've spoken about this a lot. I haven't put it as a very high priority event for me. It's just another event and my focus has always been to try and win Major championships and other events and that's kind of still where it sits.
It just kind of fall into place and, you know, hopefully I've bagged a couple big ones beforehand.
Q. Secondly, as growing up, did you have favorite Olympic athletes, did you ever dream of one day competing in an Olympics in some form?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely. Australian swimming is probably our strongest event so like every country, we followed our Olympic athletes very closely and really for me Kieren Perkins was the 1500-meter swimmer. He won firstly in Barcelona in '92 and '96. He won again in Athens swimming from Lane 8 which only just qualifying for the final and then produced a string of fantastic 1500-meter for Australia.
Graham Hackett came along. Swimming was a big one obviously and there's other Gold Medalists swimmers and medal swimmers from Australia.
I never really dreamed of being an Olympic athlete because at about 12 I wanted to be a golfer and it was never in the Olympics.
Q. Adam, when you won at Honda you more or less said it was nice to be back in the conversation or getting back in the conversation was one of your goals.
Curious where you think how wide that conversation is right now with players? It seems like it's more than just the three, four that were being talked about maybe just a month or six weeks ago.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I would agree with that. I think we're all very reactive at times to just whatever happens today and that's it. It's really hard to play golf consistently well, like I said, for long periods of time and there are three, four very clear standouts who I think have played the best over last 12 months but there's no clear separation in my mind.
In the big picture of things certainly over that 12 months, yes, and they're clearly the best players right now but to not even discuss a Bubba Watson for winning golf tournaments is unbelievable and again, he's finished 1st and 2nd in his last two starts and there's a whole string of players that can put it together any given week.
I think the talent depths and the strength of play is really strong and, all of a sudden, a couple of the top guys just don't have their best weeks, there's nothing wrong with how they're playing, but it's wide open again and I think for me as a player it's important not to get too -- sure, I'd like to be in the conversation. That just means I'm playing good.
I really don't mind if you don't write anything about me at all (laughter). That just confirms that I've done something well if I am.
Q. Can you speak to all the elements of this event that make it an attractive stop for you?
ADAM SCOTT: Of course. First and foremost, Arnold Palmer, is that enough said? I mean we can go on.
You'll hear it all week from us all how much he means to the game, how much respect he has from all the players and the players' generations after him understand what he's done for us.
So, that's enough to come. But I also, like I said, I enjoy the golf course. I think it sets up well for me. I've played a lot of good rounds here. I haven't put four together.
So many great things are happening at this tournament. It's something I want to be a part of. I'd love to have a chance to win this Sunday.
Q. Adam, after perhaps much trial and error last year, what did you learn about managing being a husband and a father that's helped you get to such a great place in golf right now?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, just being myself and just continue to do that. I didn't have to try very hard. My wife might disagree with how I rate my parenting skills, I don't know (laughter).
I'm just trying to be myself. I really haven't found being a parent or a husband that challenging so, you know, it's just been enjoyable.
Of course, things have to change and you make priorities shift here and there but, you know, maybe Rory would like to answer that question.
AMANDA HERRINGTON: Thank you all, Adam.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports