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March 16, 2005

Adam Scott


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Adam Scott for joining us for a few minutes in the media center.

Adam, as we had into some very big weeks coming up, you had a chance to play here yesterday, why don't you talk about your game and maybe a little bit about the golf course.

ADAM SCOTT: Well, my game is pretty good at the moment. I've been playing well. I had a little meltdown at Doral the other week, but apart from that, everything's been great and I feel like my form's been pretty solid. I took a week off last week and I didn't practice at all. That's the first break I've had since just before the U.S. Open last year where I didn't touch a club for a week. So I needed that, and I hit it pretty good yesterday. But the rough is up here this week, which I like to see that, and you know, I'm sure by the weekend, the greens will quicken up and then we'll have a great golf course for us.

Q. Do you feel like your game is at the same point right now as it was at this point last year leading up to THE PLAYERS?

ADAM SCOTT: I feel like physically striking the ball and just purely playing-wise, it's very similar. I'm starting to strike the ball very well, a lot more consistently and my short game is in pretty good shape. So I feel it's at a similar point to how I was coming in here last year, but I think I'm a better player than last year.

Obviously I've had another year's experience on TOUR and winning THE PLAYERS gave me a lot of confidence and I won a couple of other events. So I think my game overall is better, but as far as just physically hitting the ball, I'm pretty much at the same point as where I was this time last year.

Q. Is Tony back this week, and is everything -- what's the status? His mom was ill or something and you had to use Joe for Doral?

ADAM SCOTT: Tony came back this week. Unfortunately his mom passed away Friday of The Match Play, so he got home in time and got to spend a couple of weeks with his family, so obviously felt that was very important. But he's back and he's doing pretty good, thanks.

Q. When you hear us writing things about the big four, Tiger, Ernie, Vijay and Phil, do you ever say to yourself, "Wait a second I think I'm in that class" or "getting to that class?"

ADAM SCOTT: No, I don't believe I'm in that class. I think maybe one day I can kind of get in the top four for sure. I think I'm on a pretty good path towards that. But those guys are playing at a different level than most of us.

Q. And the numbers are arbitrary, but guys that play that well, how far away are you?

ADAM SCOTT: I think it's a have small margin, as it is any level in the professional game. The Top-10 player to the 100th-ranked player, it's a pretty small margin, really.

I think where I am, the top four is a small margin, but it requires a lot of work and some great golf. For me, it's probably just getting a little tougher and not giving away as many cheap shots on the course, and I think that's what I see with those guys. They somehow manage to make 4 out of a 5 and they do it a couple of shots a round; and that's two shots a round of difference, and that's why they are averaging 68 every time they tee it up.

Q. Was the playoff last week an example of the margin you talk about? You probably had the two best players in that field, Vijay and Padraig getting to the playoff but you also have No. 80 in the world, Joe Ogilvie, also in that playoff; is that how things can shake out?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think anyone in the event plays well, they are going to have a chance to win. There are 150 guys or so every week who if they play their best golf can win the golf tournament.

Winning is not easy out here. A lot of things need to go your way and it's hard to come by. But these guys, the top four, five, six players in the world, they are ranked up there because they win five and six times a year, but obviously winning that much, somehow you get in the frame of mind; that it's a little easier to finish the job off at the end of the week.

Q. You mentioned small margins, dependent on what happens this week, any of the Top 3 guys could come out of this with the No. 1 ranking in the world. Does that add another level of intrigue to it from your standpoint, watching it as also a fan of golf, watching those guys slug it out?

ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely. I think it's very exciting to watch the golf at the moment the way those guys are playing. You can tell they all really want to be No. 1 and be on top because they are all playing well and probably feel like they deserve to be No. 1.

I think it's been an exciting year of golf so far, and I think it's really going to get interesting starting next week, and probably Augusta for sure. If those guys start playing well there I think it will be exciting to watch. I've got to try and play as well, hopefully well, but I think golf is at a very exciting point right now and it's a real battle at the top. It will be nice to get up in there sometime and have a go.

Q. You take the top four, and then maybe throw in Retief and Padraig, only one of those guys has got a PLAYERS Championship. So do you think next week that you may have the advantage of having known what it's like to get one of those in?

ADAM SCOTT: Maybe, yeah. I don't know, I think all of those guys, obviously, it's a tournament that you want to win and have on your resume. I don't know if it's necessarily going to be anything that I've got over them. They are great players and they know how to win big events. All of them have proved that.

I'm going to feel pretty comfortable out there. That's for sure. I know that. I'd just like to get in a position where, you know, I've got a chance to defend my title and not just hand it right over because I've enjoyed being THE PLAYERS Champion for the last year.

Q. Do you feel like you're still learning about the courses out here, and how much do you feel like you've been out here long enough where you're just going out and playing now?

ADAM SCOTT: A couple of them like this week, this is my fourth time here I think. I feel like I know the course pretty well.

THE PLAYERS, also, I feel like I know that pretty well now. I mean, as much as you can for only being out here a few years.

Augusta, though, I feel not 100% comfortable playing. I think I've played there three times, but I think you could be there 20 years and still learn things about that kind of golf course. So some are pretty straightforward, but then you have unique courses like St. Andrews or Augusta where you can never learn enough about the course. But a course like this week, I feel very comfortable at and I've played well here before. So you know, I feel confident being here.

Q. You mentioned Augusta; is it a point of emphasis in the press, do you guys get hammered back home, the fact that no Australian has ever won that thing, despite some closer in misses and some crushing disappointment?

ADAM SCOTT: I wouldn't say we get hammered about it. It's obviously known that an Australian has never won there.

Q. Reminded?

ADAM SCOTT: Although, someone, you know, had great chances and just somehow, whether he got chipped in against or he didn't finish it off there in '96.

I think the top few Australians now, Stuart and Robert and myself and a couple of others playing really well have got a taste for success, and in big events. I think in the back of our minds we all probably want to be the first Australian to win the Masters.

Q. They have won all the other three, yet it's still been since '95 when Elkington won the PGA that an Australian won a major; I suspect you're reminded of that a good bit, too?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, but I think it all goes in cycles. We are a pretty small country. Although we have a lot of great golfers, we only have 20 million people and however many golfers and however many golfers on TOUR. I think it kind of goes around in cycles and I think seeing the players now out of Australia becoming world-class, I think it's a matter of time now before one of us can break through and win a major. And we'll have our run for a little bit where, hopefully ten years or so, we're really strong. And we'll probably have another cycle when the next batch of guys comes through and they need some time to get experienced, and then they can break through, as well.

Q. This year is the 75th anniversary of Bobby Jones winning what was considered the Grand Slam back then. Did you have any awareness when you were growing up of Bobby Jones and his accomplishments? And in retrospect, you have to any evaluation of how good of a year that was to go U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, British Amateur?

ADAM SCOTT: To be honest, no, I didn't really grow up and understand who Bobby Jones was or who he did. I only really saw the players who I got to see on TV. My family is big into golf, so I learned a little bit about the history of the game as I got older and obviously learned about Gary and Jack and Arnold. Only really maybe when I was a teenager and started watching Augusta and learning a bit more about the game did I find out about Bobby Jones and what he did.

It's an unbelievable feat when he won the Grand Slam. I mean, no one's ever really done it since, although two professional events and two Amateur events, any year like that is phenomenal. So at the time, obviously it was the Grand Slam and no one has ever done it since.

Q. What about the fact that it was an amateur player at the time doing all that, would that be pretty difficult nowadays with professional golf the way it is?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it would be impossible, actually. I think the Amateur game to the professional game now compared to then is totally different. Not that an amateur can't do well because we see them do well all the time in professional events, but to perform like that, I don't think would happen now.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Adam, for joining us.

End of FastScripts.

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