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July 14, 2004

Adam Scott


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Adam Scott. Adam, this is the fifth time you've appeared in The Open Championship. You come here with two very good wins under your belt on the PGA TOUR. You're looking forward to a successful championship?

ADAM SCOTT: I'm looking forward to getting out there this week and just really putting two solid rounds together, and setting myself up for a round at the weekend. And my form has been good. Last time I played I won in the States, and I still feel that I've got some good rhythm going with the swing.

Q. How would you sum up your season? You've had two wins in the States, but you have missed some cuts over there. Has the season been as consistent as you'd like it to have been?

ADAM SCOTT: It was early on, and after The Players I missed two cuts straightaway. That was a bit of a letdown, but it hasn't been that bad at all. And I took a lot of time off after Augusta. You wouldn't have seen me playing much. And it took me a couple of weeks to get back into form after that break. So it was nice to get back quickly and have another win again, and hopefully that keeps the season rolling along for the rest of the year now.

Q. How much of a mental test is it when you play a course like this when it can change from day to day , and a lot of things can change?

ADAM SCOTT: This is probably going to be, along with the other majors, but more so here, mentally challenging. The wind plays such a factor, and we don't really play so much in the wind where the ball gets affected anymore. The balls fly so straight that you really don't have to worry too much about it. But here it's moving quite a long way, and it seems it's a crosswind a lot of the time out there. And that together with a few bad breaks and ending up on the wrong side of those bunker walls, I'm sure that will test everyone's patience this week.

Q. Given your performance at The PLAYERS Championship, which is arguably the best field of any tournament in the world, what has that done for your confidence that you can compete in a major?

ADAM SCOTT: Not a lot, I feel in the last two majors, but I really didn't bring my best game to the last couple of majors. It was close, but it wasn't quite there and I got off to a bad start and I lost a little confidence. I think if I can get off to a good start and just get rolling something nice and solid the first two days, and I know I can finish it off on the weekend like I did at The PLAYERS. But it did me a world of good just as general confidence knowing that I can compete at that level with the best players in the world, breathing down my neck.

Q. Would you describe yourself as a good player in windy conditions?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think I am a good player in windy conditions. I grew up on the Gold Coast in Queensland and we get quite a strong sea breeze there, and I always felt like I was quite a good player in the wind. And it's a little different when it's a major championship course and tough conditions, but still, I do feel comfortable in the wind and I feel like I can play the right shots according to the wind.

Q. The patience that it takes in a major, a long four days and going out on this course, it being basically your major opportunity to make birdies, will you change your game plan from going out to when you turn around and come back in? Will you change your ball flight, will you change your mental attitude toward it?

ADAM SCOTT: I think you're probably going to have to change your ball flight a bit. I really don't want to hit it too high in the wind. You can take advantage of these downwind holes going out and getting a little length off the tee, and getting it down by some of the greens. Coming back, anything up in the air is going to be hit by the wind. I've seen some balls out there the last couple of days moving 20, 30, 40 yards up in the wind if it just gets up in the air a bit. So I think there's going to be a premium on keeping it as low to the ground coming back in into the wind, and hopefully running it up to the fronts of the greens, which is a pretty good position.

Q. For the sake of argument, if we class good players as being the winners of tournaments, and great players of winning majors, it sounds like you're making the transition of one to the other. How important is it to have someone on your bag of being someone that has been there and done it?

ADAM SCOTT: I was lucky this year coming across Tony and it mostly had to do with Greg and Butch and I've already seen the benefit of it at Booze-Allen the other week at the heat of battle on Sunday. Tony made some great calls out there, and I did listen to him and they paid off. And that's what makes a great caddy. He was in the heat of battle for ten years straight with Greg in the Majors, in all the biggest tournaments. So he definitely knows what he's talking about and believes in his own ability and that's someone you need on the bag to become a major champion.

Q. Just a follow-up to that. Is there anything that he brings to an Open Championship as far as experience ?

ADAM SCOTT: That's what he brings. He brings the experience with Greg here. I think he said his first trip to an Open was here in '82. So he's been coming here 22 years. And the experiences with Greg. He won at St. George's and was in contention a lot of other times. I think he probably has a pretty good feel for the shots that need to be played and we've just been talking about that this week, about what kind of shots do you like to see and just so that you don't put yourself in a position where you make big numbers.

Q. Could I ask you about the aspect of your career where the expectations are so high on young players like yourself, and maybe Sergio Garcia? How much time do you spend dealing with that aspect in your mind?

ADAM SCOTT: I don't really spend too much time dwelling on that, pretty much I just set my goals for the year and go with that and try not to change them or get ahead of myself. Obviously I think Sergio, more so than me, would feel that he needs to win a major. It seems like he's been contending in them for about five years, ever since he came out there. But it's definitely something that plays on your mind, to win a major. I think both of us can say we've got a lot of years ahead of us, but we're both playing well right now so we should try and take the chance if we get it and that's kind of the attitude that I'm taking into the Majors, is that if I can play well and get myself in a position, there's no reason why I shouldn't win the tournament. I know I can. I finished it off at The PLAYERS Championship and a couple of others in the U.S. and in Europe and beat some good fields. It's just that this has the added pressure of a major championship and it kind of defines people's careers. But my attitude is if I'm playing well then I feel that I should have a chance to win, and if I'm in that position I'd want to take it.

Q. Given that nerves are all a part of it, especially when in contention, how do they manifest themselves with you and how do you cope with it?

ADAM SCOTT: I mean, I definitely get nervous, like most people probably would. But the more experience you have and the more times you're in that position I think you cope with it better every time. And I've made some mistakes like at The PLAYERS on the last, but I really didn't put that down to nerves. I think that was more of a mental flop. I almost felt like I'd won it just by getting it in the fairway on the 18th and it was just cruise in from there. And fortunately, I saved the tournament. But my mental side of things is pretty good on controlling nerves. Butch and I have spent a lot of time talking about how to do that and breathing and what he's seen from the players he's tutored in the past. I'm pretty relaxed in the past, and I never get too pumped up to where I'm not thinking straight.

Q. What have you discussed with him?

ADAM SCOTT: Just controlling your breathing is I think an important thing out there. Just to try and slow your heartbeat down and walking a bit slower and just slowing your whole rhythm down when you're getting down the stretch or feeling a little nervous, just slow everything down and try and relax.

Q. How important is Butch to your game generally? Do you see yourself with him for several more years?

ADAM SCOTT: As long as he still wants to teach me I think I'll be with him until that point. He's really helped my golf game. He took me from a pretty average college player to The Players champion, I guess. He's done a hell of a job, and I think the values he puts in the game have rubbed off on me a little bit. He works hard, makes me work hard, and wants to get the results that he believes I can get. We work really well together and keep it pretty simple, which is how I like to do it. And we've had good results so far. And I'm sure while I'm working with Butch we'll get some more good ones.

Q. You mentioned that he helps out in the caddy area, as well.

ADAM SCOTT: Butch is pretty good. He reads me pretty well, I think, and he knows when he should butt in and say something. And he felt that was an important thing for me. And so when that arose, he mentioned it to me and told me to have a think about it as to whether Tony should be the man for me next.

Q. Talking about getting off to a good solid start the first two rounds. Remember last years 82, 74 at Sandwich, remembering your talent, how difficult will it be to shrug off the memory of that?

ADAM SCOTT: I've pretty much forgotten about that.

Q. I just reminded you.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, thanks. To be honest with you, my putting was such a state there last year. I think I 3-putted five of the first ten greens and that was all in my head. And ever since then, it was actually a turning point for me that tournament last year, where I put everything aside and said I just need to fix my putting, otherwise I'm not going to get anywhere. And I just spent weeks after that practicing the putting. And ever since then it's been pretty solid.

I think the other thing is, the Majors are set up so difficult now that if you're playing average it's so easy to shoot 80 out there. If you're playing well you can still shoot that. It just can get away from you. And that's what the guys who win and the guys who do well in these things, they don't let that happen. They have this ability to just keep their bad round at something reasonable. And in a major you can still win with a bad round because it's just so difficult out there.

Q. If God could give you two complete security in two aspects of your game here this week; in other words, guarantee you that every time you played that shot or hit that club it would be okay, what would those two departments of the game be? For you what are the two most important, or what two most important things would you have to do to stand a chance of winning here?

ADAM SCOTT: I think putting always is the most important thing as to winning a tournament. And the other thing that I'd say here is probably the iron play and approach shots to greens. I think if you do that well here this week and manage to keep it out of trouble and keep it in a good position, you can putt from the front edge and around the fringes quite easily. It's just when you get them caught up in the wind and they end up 40 yards off line, it's tough coming back on the green. So if you can control your iron play and just get them in the fronts of the greens it's quite easy to 2-putt from there. And I think that's probably -- I think that's probably one of the keys to this week.

Q. Jack Nicklaus has acknowledged that Scotland's gallery is the best in the world. Do you get that feel when you come to play in the home of golf?

ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely. There's a tremendous atmosphere that comes from this tournament, and even at Loch Lomond last week, I didn't play, but I've played there before, and it's some of the best crowds we get all year. And they appreciate good shots and --

Q. Do you feed off that?

ADAM SCOTT: Oh, absolutely, yeah. They're not afraid to get behind anyone who's playing well. They'll support anyone who is playing well in the tournament and they appreciate the good golf they see. I think you can definitely feed of that when you're out there.

STEWART McDOUGALL: Adam, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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