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June 29, 2016

Adam Scott

Akron, Ohio

CANDACE REINHEIMER: Adam, welcome to Firestone once again. Our World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship current champion and former Bridgestone Invitational champion.

Adam, what are your thoughts on returning to this course where you've had such good luck?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, well, it's one of everyone's favorite stops on the TOUR. Obviously an important event as a World Golf Championship, and a course that I've played lots of good golf on over the years and finally one year put four rounds together and won. But it would be nice to get back in that kind of position again, especially after starting the year very strong and just having really found all my form since that Florida swing. So it would be a good time to kind of find it this week with the upcoming events afterwards, as well.

Q. You talked about building into the bigger events, but this is one of those for you. You've mentioned that before. How important is it that you're up in that at least top five, ten moving forward into the British?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I guess in some ways just for helping the momentum and the confidence going into the next two majors, a result is somewhat beneficial to that. It does help. But it would be -- I've got to balance that. I've got to just make sure that I've really not -- not disguising some bad form with some scrambling and putting, and that it's got to be really clicking. I'd like that to be where I really feel my game is this week. If it is, then I'm sure I'll get in contention and get that result, but you'd like to have see the whole package, not just one of those weeks where you play smart and you make a few extra putts and sneak in for a result.

Q. Is it different this year given that you don't have the major right after it and maybe your energy levels can be managed differently?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I mean, this year the whole schedule is different, not just that we're not playing the PGA next week. This is about five or six weeks earlier maybe, and we've just played the U.S. Open. So yeah, managing these next few weeks is going to be different for most guys because we haven't really had the schedule set this way before.

But I feel like I went away from the U.S. Open and worked on a few things I needed to last week with this week in mind and going forward, but you are going to have to still manage those energy levels because I don't know that you can push hard the whole way through. You're just going to have to take some days off and recover and then practice mindful that you need to save some energy to play the next week.

Q. I'm wondering if you go 10 years or so back at this tournament when it used to be held the week after the PGA and it almost felt like a bit of an exhale, still a big tournament but it was that kind of sense; do you get that now coming off Oakmont?
ADAM SCOTT: You mean this week? Yeah. No, I think probably it was more of an exhale when it was sitting after the PGA than this week, but it's a good position to, again, test yourself at the highest level. The course is demanding. The field is strong. It seems that's what this summer is all about. Even Congressional last week, another demanding golf course for those guys.

So I think it sits in there okay. It's just slightly different timing and could be a better date for this golf tournament.

Q. Do you think you should have the Olympics every year so we can keep doing this?
ADAM SCOTT: Sure, that would be good, yeah. Keep it here.

Q. What is it about this place that enables you to have success? Is it just the layout or what was going so well the year you won?
ADAM SCOTT: It's a good drivers' golf course. If you manage to hit the fairways you're at a big advantage. Some are very, very difficult to hit, and I think if you drive the golf ball very well, you're at a huge advantage here, and it's probably the same at every course, but there are some courses now that don't allow you to actually hit the driver, so obviously hitting the fairways is good everywhere you go. But here some of the fairways are very challenging to hit, especially on the front nine, and if you have one of those weeks where you are hitting them, you're at a big advantage over most of the field. I think it's always in perfect shape and the greens are beautiful, so you've got to take advantage of that if that happens.

Q. You've always been sort of outspoken on the Olympics and what you've seen over the last week with the pullouts and more to come, are you surprised? What are your feelings, and what do you think that means for it in the future?
ADAM SCOTT: I guess I'm not surprised. I mean, the Zika threat is a serious thing to be considered, and the guys have considered that and they've made their decisions about it. I guess that's not surprising because that's been looming over this event now for the last six months probably.

I think -- I've spent a lot of time thinking about it and listening to what all the other guys have said to you or in interviews, and I think the IGF and the IOC need to think about what they do for the next one because it's obviously not gone the way they've planned it, and I think they should think about that and how professional golf fits in the Olympic system.

Q. So for you it's a matter of maybe not being there at all, turning amateur, or maybe a team event or something different?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I've always believed that having the amateurs in from the start would have been the best way for it to go in the Olympics. And I also believe if the idea is to grow the game, I'd make an argument that having the amateurs in the Olympics would grow the game the most, not us. I still believe that. I don't know if that'll ever happen or not, but I think it would be a real positive for the game of golf if golf was in the Olympics and the amateurs were playing.

Q. Why do you think that is?
ADAM SCOTT: Lots of reasons. Like I just said before, professional golf hasn't been in the Olympic system, where individuals playing an individual sport with other commitments and priorities that aren't based around the Olympic Games at all, whether that's sponsors, even the PGA TOUR fits under that banner.

I think that -- if I think back to when I was 16 or 17 years old and a promising golfer, making the Olympics would be something that I'd want to do very much and also be a very big deal, not only to me but to my country, as well, at that point.

Generally trying to get people involved in the game of golf, the kind of stats show that if they get involved early, more people stick with the game, and I think having a young golfer aspire to be an Olympian is more realistic as an amateur than a professional. It's just not going to happen for many as a professional, especially the way the qualification system works at the moment.

I think looking at the big picture and long-term, not just initial impact, I believe putting the amateurs in would be a better result for growing the game if that's the point of our sport being in the Olympics.

Q. What do you think they could do to pique your interest for next time?
ADAM SCOTT: I think they should change the format for sure. They have to look at that, and potentially the qualification system. You know, for lots of reasons, but just having another 72-hole golf tournament with a weaker than most fields doesn't really pique my interest and make me prioritize that, when like I said, I've got lots of other things, including my family and scheduling and everything like that that already fit in my professional and personal world, but I'd look at both of those two things going forward.

I think a team event certainly would be interesting and getting the most players there, because golf is not quite like other sports, too, where it's very, very possible you can have the most dominant player ever, like a Tiger Woods in his prime play, and he wouldn't medal. He could finish 12th. But you don't see the most dominant athlete in other sports not medal generally in more traditional Olympic sports. So it's different.

So I think the field needs to be made up a little differently to probably get my interest anyway.

Q. And would a team event maybe have given guys pause to not withdraw given that it would have had an impact on teammates as opposed to just themselves?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I don't know. I mean, it depends if you're separating the Zika virus and whether people are interested in playing the Olympics or not. I mean, this is a different circumstance, but potentially I think so.

But the big challenge is I think if professionals are going to stay, they're going to have to find a way to fit professional golf in the Olympic system. All the other sports have now somewhat fit in, and all their other events are programmed and based around the Olympics, as well, whether it's scheduling or qualification, all these kind of things, and ours is not. It's just kind of shoved in there at a very critical time for everything I've ever dreamed of winning, too. I think they've got to figure out how professional golf fits in that system better, whether that's a team event or stays individual, mixed, team events, all of the above, I don't know, but they should have a look at that because I think it'll continue to be a problem beyond this games.

Q. Do you have an explanation for why only the men have pulled out and all the women are so far still committed?
ADAM SCOTT: I have no idea why. You'd have to ask them. I don't understand.

Q. What is your problem with the qualification system? What don't you like about it?
ADAM SCOTT: I just don't think enough of the best players are there.

Q. So more players, top players, instead of more countries is your thinking?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't think -- I think it depends on what we're trying to be in the Olympics. Grow the game, so we need the countries there. We need the other countries there. We do because they're targeting the countries that don't have golf as a sport or even a recognized sport with a lot of participation. So we need the countries there.

But why do we limit the field so much? Just have a full field then, have 150 guys play, get all the best players and give the other countries some opportunity. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me that we have a fairly weak field.

A couple months ago the ninth ranked player in the world wasn't going to the Olympics. I just don't understand that. Really that doesn't make sense to me.

Q. Could you maybe just talk for a minute about how the next two majors just set up for you, given especially the way you played earlier this year with a couple of wins?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, they set up good if I play like I did earlier in the year. That would be nice. I was saying to Ben that I'd like to try and feel like all those aspects of my game are firing again. For moments during the U.S. Open there was good bits in all aspects of my game, but I never fully put it together and eventually had a poor final nine holes that soured my week a little bit from being not a bad week to getting not much out of it.

I'd like to kind of put all that together here certainly to just build the confidence and some momentum, you know. I had the momentum really flowing there, and then it disappeared, so kind of need to get it happening again. Sometimes just finishing the tournament off strong and getting a result even if you're not winning can do that, and Troon I think sets up great for me. I've enjoyed watching Troon on The Golf Channel, Golf's Greatest Rounds, the last couple of weeks, and refreshing the memory of how the course is. I enjoyed it there in '04, and I think it's going to be a great event. And then obviously Baltusrol I remember fairly well, as well, from '05. I played with Mickelson and saw what you need to do to win around there.

Again, I think it's a strong golf course. If I can get that momentum going, then I feel like these courses set up great for me. I'd like to finish this year or this major season off kind of in the form that I've recently had.

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