February 24, 2004
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Adam, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center. It probably feels great to be back here at the La Costa, at a place that you played very well at last year. Why don't you just talk about coming back and maybe the golf course and then we'll go into questions.
ADAM SCOTT: It was nice to get out and play a lot yesterday and to see the golf course again because I had such a good week here last year. It was nice to get a feel for the course again, and it felt very similar to what it did last year, also. And I feel this is my third time coming here now, you get to know the course a little better every time, and I think that's definitely an advantage on Tour for some of the guys who have been coming to places for so long. And now this is my third time here. I know the course a little bit better each time.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Questions, please.
Q. How is it playing now? Obviously very wet. Is it playing very long, I presume?
ADAM SCOTT: It is. Yesterday it was playing very long. I think the air was quite heavy, as well, so the ball wasn't traveling far in the air or on the ground, but it's kind of similar to last year. It was still very wet under foot last year.
Q. What was the sort of secret of your success last year? Everybody says match play, anything can happen. It's a sprint. What was the key for you last year?
ADAM SCOTT: I think that there's a lot of luck involved in 18-hole match play, but I didn't play well last year until the match against Tiger, when we both played really well, but I was pretty solid, and I think hitting fairways around this course is the key to the whole golf course. The fairways are pretty generous, but still in the rough you can really struggle out of this rough.
Q. Were you having a lesson with Butch yesterday?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I've just spent the last four days with Butch in Las Vegas. We drove down here together and he was just having a quick look before I went out and had a game yesterday. We just worked on my leg action in Las Vegas, that was all. Apart from that, he thought I was swinging pretty good.
Q. You've played well here last year and then you won the tournament in Boston, but overall I remember you talking -- were you disappointed by your inconsistency last year?
ADAM SCOTT: I wasn't very consistent last year. The first six months of the year, with the exception of here, I think was pretty ordinary, and I played quite well in the last six months, but I'm looking to be a bit more of a consistent player than that and try and play well throughout the year. It's all part of learning, too, and getting the schedule right and preparing for tournaments properly, and I think that's what I've adjusted a little bit for this year and hopefully that works out.
Q. How much have you been working with Butch? How long have you been working with him and how much has he changed your game over that period of time?
ADAM SCOTT: I've worked with Butch for a little over four years, four and a half years now, and my game has changed a lot since when I first went to him. I think it's gradually changed, though, no severe changes have been made, but he's obviously brought me from a good amateur player to at the top of the pro game. We've come a long way in four and a half years.
Q. There are other players that had worked with Butch in the past and then have left him. Do you feel like when you go to Butch, like when you went to Vegas this time, do you feel like it's one of those things where he knows your game so well that it won't take him long to suggest adjustments to your game and that you feel comfortable with someone like that?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I have never had the feeling that I've gone away after working with Butch and I don't know what I'm doing still. That's nice to be able to go and work with him for a couple of days or even on the range one day and then walk away and know what direction you're heading in and what you're working on and why you're doing it. That's one of the best feelings that I think I get out of working with Butch, is I know right where I'm meant to be as soon as we're done working together.
Q. Talk about the goals you've set this year.
ADAM SCOTT: You know, I'd say winning is the main goal. That's what everyone wants to do, so I'd definitely like to win over here again. Apart from that, I'd like to play a little better in majors this year. I played okay in the Masters and the PGA in the past, but the other two I've played really poorly, so I'd definitely like to make all four cuts and then hopefully give myself a chance at some stage.
Q. How do you like the switched layout?
ADAM SCOTT: Here?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it's not too bad. I think the par-5 finish is probably a good finish. It gives guys a chance to go for it in two and make an eagle. I think 16 is also good to have in the last three holes. It's an exciting hole.
Q. You were talking about wanting to play better in majors this year. What do you think has held you back to this point? Is there any different way you need to approach it?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think in the past I haven't specifically prepared for majors. I've been trying to establish myself as a player. When you're young and just coming on you've got to play a lot and you never really get a chance to prepare just for a major because that's not your first real goal. It's nice to be in them and everything, but you're trying to get yourself set up so you've got a card for the next year and try and win some of these other tournaments.
I've actually gone into most majors playing quite poorly and it's been hard work just getting it around. And on those golf courses you can really struggle if you're not playing well. At the U.S. Open and the Open, that's where I've really struggled, but I enjoy The Masters and I think it suits my game a lot. I seem to be in good form for the PGA, but this year I'm preparing more around getting ready for the majors, trying to have a better showing this year.
Q. Does that mean a change in your scheduling?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I've had to change my schedule because I'm taking up a membership over here now so I've got to play more over here, which means I've got to drop a couple of Europe but still meet the number in Europe. I've changed my schedule a little bit so I can do that and also be ready to play well in the four majors.
Q. Will that work out? Roughly the number of tournaments? Will you play a minimum of 11 in Europe?
ADAM SCOTT: 12 or 13 in Europe, probably 17 here, but there are so many it's not like you're playing 34 tournaments or something.
Q. What do you feel like is good preparation for a major for you? Is it taking off the week before?
ADAM SCOTT: Not necessarily. I'm going to play for three weeks leading up to Augusta. I think I'll be ready just for having played and been in tournament focus for a few weeks, and the same for the U.S. Open and probably for the British Open, I'd like to go out and play some courses around Troon the week before the tournament just to try and get back into links golf and see what the conditions are like there. That's kind of my approach.
Q. You talked about playing here last year and having experience now with this course. Do you have a different mind set for yourself coming into a match play event versus a stroke play event?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, sure. I think you've got to have it going on each day. You know, there's not that much time to make up ground. I think a good way to play match play is fairways and greens. If you're playing like that pretty solid, it's going to wear the other guy out if he's not playing like that; and if he is, then you're going to have a hell of a match. I'm just looking to try and go pretty solid, fairways and greens, and then if you can make a few putts you'll wear the other guy down.
Q. Can you kind of split last year into two halves, the first half where you didn't play so well and then the second half? Do you feel like you learned something about your game the second half of the year that you didn't know last year sort of that might lend itself to the consistency that you're looking for?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it just shows that it's never that far away. I mean, after the Open Championship last year, I felt I was done and putting terribly, hitting the ball terribly, and then two weeks later I won in Sweden. It just shows that it's never that far away and there's really no need for panic.
If you can just stick to your guns and keep working hard, it'll turn around. And it really did turn around for me in the second half of last year. I won in Sweden and a few weeks later I won over here. So if you just keep with the plan that you've got, I think it can always turn around.
Q. What kept you from panicking at that point and turning it around so quickly?
ADAM SCOTT: It's not really in my nature to get too panicky, so I was just kind of rolling with it. I shot 83, I think, the first day at St. Georges. And I cruised onto the range the next morning, and Butch said to me, "What are you doing?" I said, "I don't know." He said, "It looks like you've just won four majors or something. You shot 83 yesterday." I just felt like there was no point in stressing over it. I wanted to go out and shoot 68 and try and make the cut or something the next day, but it's not really in my nature to get too fired up about anything like that.
Q. Did you learn anything from the last round of the Heineken that you would apply to a match this week, do you think?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, definitely. I think the Heineken and also The Presidents Cup was the last time I played match play, obviously, and as long as you can keep yourself on the golf course there's always a chance to win. And that's what Ernie kept saying to me in the Presidents Cup in our first match.
We were down all day, and he said, "Let's just keep ourselves on the course, not run out of holes," and we were two down with three to go, and I won the last three holes. I was getting a little wired there for a while that I was going to lose my first match in the Presidents Cup, but we ended up winning. Same with the Heineken. I didn't think there was a chance on Sunday morning, and after nine holes I was tied for the lead.
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Everybody all set? Thank you, Adam. Play well this week.
ADAM SCOTT: Thanks.
End of FastScripts.