September 3, 2003
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Adam, for joining us for a few minutes here at the Bell Canadian Open.
Congratulations again on your victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship last week. Why don't you talk about the memories of your victory, and then we'll go into questions about the Bell Canadian Open.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, obviously, last week was a pretty special week, winning on the U.S. tour. They don't come much bigger than that, from winning a major, as far as the next biggest thing. It was very satisfying last week and I enjoyed every minute of it.
But, you know, I've got a few comments from people. They said I look so serious on the course. Even though I was leading by three or four on last few holes, why don't I smile so much and enjoy it. That's kind of the attitude I had on the course was just make sure I get this done and I can smile plenty afterwards and party then. It was just an interesting reaction from some people. But I certainly enjoyed it, even though maybe I didn't look like it was that much fun.
Q. What's your impression of this course so far?
ADAM SCOTT: I actually haven't played it yet. I've just heard good things about it, all good things. I've heard a lot of guys have decided to play this week because they heard the course was so good.
Q. If you at yourself now compared to the time you first teed it up on the PGA TOUR till now, what are the changes in terms of obviously maturing and learning to play over here?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I was barely 20 years old then when I first played on TOUR and probably played about five tournaments as a professional. So three years of experience and play, and obviously my game has matured a lot and I've probably matured a lot since then.
The opening thing is, I've learned how to win, through playing in Europe, and that probably held me in good stead last week.
Q. Greg Norman, who is obviously one of your heroes has won the Canadian Open twice, is that something that bears any weight in you coming to play here this week?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, kind of. I mean, I've modeled a lot of my game and the path I've taken off Greg Norman's career path. And one of the things I always say is that when I'm in Europe and I go around to different tournaments it seems Greg has won almost every one of them, and that's something that I wanted to achieve when I first went over there.
Yeah, sure, this has been part of Greg's career and to achieve some of the things he's done would be fantastic.
Q. Was there a time just after you turned pro to go and play in Europe before you ever gave the PGA TOUR any thought, or did that just come naturally or exactly how did that come about?
ADAM SCOTT: I was pretty lucky when I first turned pro that I was able to get spots on both tours, get some invites. I played poorly in America when I first turned pro and I played well in Europe. So I got a card in Europe and that's where I could play.
Q. Do you still play -- inaudible?
ADAM SCOTT: Not really. I was going to take whatever I could get, really. Obviously if I played well here at the start, it would have been great. But I played well in Europe, and once a couple other people saw that, they really pushed me and said, "You know you really should go and play over there," because they saw I was struggling to play well here.
Q. Did that help you starting over there and winning over there first?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely. I believe 100% of that has made me a better player, playing in Europe at the start, just establishing myself as a player over there. And it made it easier for me coming over here. I had some security as far as a tour card and everything behind me over there. I didn't have to worry so much about anything when I came here.
Q. How are you handling the instant celebrity status or has that hit you yet?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't think anything is really different. At the golf course, anyone will ask for your autograph, so no different. It's not like I'm in the street and people recognize me. So nothing's really changed, I don't think.
Q. How do you explain being able to hold a 54-hole lead at such a young age?
ADAM SCOTT: I said last week, the first time I won, I led by a shot going in. And I had another lead later in the year and I lost the tournament with a two-shot lead, and from then, I said, "I'm never going to let that happen again." And fortunately so far I haven't.
I just got comfortable being out in front. It's quite difficult to do that sometimes. I think you think about so many things, rather than if you're behind, you can just think about kind of tracking the guy down. You don't think about winning; you don't think about what happens if you win. When you're in front, sometimes you can let yourself get too far in front of yourself and you start thinking about winning and your acceptance speech and all kind of crazy stuff. But I've seemed to manage that position fairly well and I enjoy playing out in front. I feel like when I get out in front, I can really go a long way in front. A couple times last week I felt like I had a chance to get five and six out in front.
Q. You said once, maybe at the Accenture, what you noticed about Tiger was the putts he made in the 6-, 8-, 10-foot range, are you now at the point where you feel quite confident over them?
ADAM SCOTT: Certainly in the last month my putting has had a complete turnaround. I think Sunday was the most impressive putting of my career so far. On the back nine especially, I made a lot of putts for par saves. Even though I hit the greens, I left myself 50- and 40-footers, and I only got them down to five and six feet. So to make those ones and just not give anything back to the field was very important as far as winning.
You know, that was kind of Tiger-like. He seems to make all of those when he's got a chance to win, and that's why he wins so much is because he doesn't let anyone else get close.
Q. With all of the attention you're getting, how much are you looking forward to getting on the course for round one?
ADAM SCOTT: I'm looking forward to playing again. Obviously I'm riding on a little confidence right now. I'm very comfortable with my game, so I'm looking forward to getting out there and trying to get back in contention on Sunday.
Q. How much confidence did you gain within that 36-hole Accenture final against Tiger? What does that do for you maybe in the immediate aftermath of it and looking back now?
ADAM SCOTT: Obviously it gave me confidence. It was disappointing not to beat Tiger because I felt like I had a chance to. But it was good to see I could play so well on a big stage like that, in a final against Tiger. The Match Play tournament was a pretty big stage and going head-to-head with the world's best. I lifted my game for one day. In all of my other matches, I broke par but that day Tiger and I were like 5- and 6-under on a pretty tough golf course, so it was nice to see I could lift my game when I had to.
It carried over a little bit. I've played poorly in stretches between then and now, but I definitely can draw on that experience. Being on a big stage like that definitely helped me, playing with Tiger earlier in the year.
Q. What about the Presidents Cup, you're going to be playing on that this year, that's obviously another big international stage and you can't play on the Ryder Cup; so that's the biggest event you'll play in as a team player.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, just looking forward to that now. It was a bit tight for me to get on the team at the end. I was in and out and got in at the end, and now I can just look forward to playing in the Presidents Cup.
I think the International Team is a great lineup, three of the top five players in the world maybe, so the top end is pretty strong. I think we are pretty strong all the way through. So it's going to be a good match. I'll just looking forward to enjoying that experience.
Q. You said in the last month your putting has been a turnaround, what caused the turnaround, how did it reveal itself?
ADAM SCOTT: I putted so poorly, really, for most of this year and at the British Open was about the low point. I could hardly get the ball in the hole.
I took the next week off after the Open and all I did was chip and putt for the week. I spent hours putting. Some of it was technical and most of it was mental though. I went and won in Scandinavia the next week and didn't have a 3-putt for the whole week. Putted well at the PGA. Putted pretty well at the NEC and then I putted very well last week, and especially coming down the stretch.
So it was just a matter of me committing as much time to putting as the rest of my game.
Q. On another subject, you're often left, right or wrong with other age contemporaries, Howell, Baddeley, when you look at the other players of your age, what do you see in them? What parts of their games do you look at or do you look at them at all?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think we all kind of inspire each other, the young guys, because we have all been so close since juniors and we've played a little in college together even. Any time one of us performs really well, it inspires another to go out and work a little harder and perform well. I think everyone's got different strengths. Like Aaron is a fantastic putter and Justin is probably the best long bunker player that I've seen. Just last week I was asking Justin how he plays one bunker shot because I've played with him a couple times this year and he's hit two of the best long shots I've seen in ages.
We feed off each other, definitely. It's a natural rivalry. All of the young guys have that, yeah.
Q. Can you just talk a little bit about what Butch has done to your game since you've met him and what actually, if you could speak to the relationship, too, how did that start and what's he done for your game since the two of you have been working together?
ADAM SCOTT: Butch and I met about four years ago, so we have been working together for about four years. I was introduced to Butch through Tom Crow, who was from Cobra golf and a long-time friend of Butch. I was in Vegas; Butch was in Vegas, so he thought it was a good idea that we meet.
Butch has really built my golf game from a good amateur, kind of a rough golf game, to a pretty finally-tuned touring pro.
Q. What's the difference from an amateur --
ADAM SCOTT: When you're an amateur, you swing with what you've got and you don't really care where you hit it. You just think you're going to get it up-and-down from everywhere. You just go out and play, really, which is a good way to be, but it doesn't really work on TOUR every week.
So Butch has tuned my game, he's tuned it up a lot. Really, I think -- I think Butch was very satisfied with the way I played last week and a lot of -- he put so much time into my game and he's become such a great friend and mentor for me. You know, I can't do enough for Butch. He's got pretty much everything, obviously and he's taken Tiger to the top, as well. I really struggle to find things I can do for Butch. But I think just winning last week was payback enough for him.
Q. Did you go to UNLV because Butch was there or was it just a fringe benefit of being at UNLV that you got to work with Butch?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I don't think Butch was in Vegas when I was at UNLV. He moved there during.
Q. Some of the international players on the women's side haven't been going to college, or just a year in college, how important was that for you?
ADAM SCOTT: It was a tough decision for me because I never really wanted to go to college and never thought about it. I just thought I would play as an amateur and when the time was right, turn professional. But going to college opened a lot of windows for me, especially in America. It was very valuable for me. I got to meet Butch, I got to meet a lot of people and kind of introduced myself to America, and I think that helped me out on the start when I was looking for a start on TOUR that I had been to college and established myself in America.
Q. Your swing and Tiger's swing, despite the fact that people suggest there's a lot of similarities in the look and timing and that sort of thing , break it down for me a little bit, what do you feel is different about your swing than his?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I don't think our club travels on the same path at all. I think his is a lot more on-line than mine. I swing a lot more under myself than Tiger does because he's stronger. That's just the way I've always swung, a lot more behind, behind my body. It's not that bad but it's something I always work on.
His swing has changed a little bit over the past three years, as well. He's a little flatter now than he used to be and I'm probably a little bit more upright than him now.
I think the finish kind of fools everyone into thinking we swing the same. The finish is very similar, I'll give you that.
Q. This is a question you have probably already answered, but this is now your first week coming in as a PGA TOUR winner, does it change your approach or your mindset? How do you feel right now getting ready for tomorrow?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah a little bit. I definitely feel a lot more confident coming here this week. In the past, I've played PGA TOUR events, and even though I thought I could win, I thought more about making enough money to get my card in America. Now I don't really have to worry about that. I can go out with the mindset that I can just get in position to win. And that's how I've been playing in Europe for a few years because I got my card over there. That's how I'm going to play over here now, just try to get myself in position to win.
Q. Does it make you more aggressive now that you do have your card, you can start firing at the pin more, get a few more wins?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I'll play the same way, the way I've been playing has been fine. It's just I haven't been able to play my best in previous weeks over here.
The only difference is I can play a little more freely because I don't have a card riding on it now. I can just go out and see my shot and hit it, and hopefully it's going to be good enough to come out on top at the end of the week.
Q. This is a shot-maker's course. The changes in your swing is working with Butch Harmon, does that help you in a situation like this, where a few years ago this course might have had different challenges for you?
ADAM SCOTT: No. I think I hit the ball pretty much the same as I did a few years ago. I actually like my swing better back then. Really, for me, it's all about how the short game works. If my short game is good, I should be in contention. So if I can keep that up, I'll be fine out there.
Q. Do you feel that you're ready to win a major -- inaudible?
ADAM SCOTT: Maybe, yeah. I felt this year, I didn't play great in the majors. At the PGA I had just come off a win in Europe and that was my next tournament. Until about the 14th hole on Saturday, I was right in contention. I was at even par and going along really nicely, but didn't play well the last day and a half. I felt pretty comfortable there. I felt like I really wanted to get myself in contention. So definitely looking forward to Augusta next year, because I love Augusta and I've played well twice there so far.
It's hard to answer it if I feel comfortable. You've probably just got to not think it's a major somehow and block that all out, because there's too much pressure on you already before you start putting it on yourself.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Adam, thank you for joining us and good luck this week.
End of FastScripts.