March 25, 2003
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Adam Scott, thank you for joining us. It's your second appearance at THE PLAYERS Championship. Let's get some opening comments on coming back to play in the 30th anniversary of the event as well as just a little bit about your stint in the United States so far this year.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, this week is always an exciting week, just because it's the TPC at Sawgrass. The course is one of the best we play all year so everyone looks forward to coming here. Unfortunately I wasn't here very long this year so I'm trying to make up for that this time.
Q. As far as playing so far in the United States this year, you've obviously had some great success out at the Match Play event in California, shot a final round 62 at the Honda Classic so you've done so far this year. Talk about your year so far a little bit in the United States.
ADAM SCOTT: I've really enjoyed it. I got things kicked off really well in the Match Play. The last two weeks at Honda and Bay Hill I've played okay. I had a good round on Sunday at Honda and I had a good round on Sunday at Bay Hill. It's just the first three that I'm struggling with at the moment. I've really enjoyed myself, and I'm nearly at my goal in getting my card over here, which gives me more options.
Q. Adam, you had a low round Sunday the last two weeks. Can you try to explain why you played those rounds so well and not the others?
ADAM SCOTT: You know, I don't really know. For both weeks nothing really felt different at all. I was really struggling both weeks with my swing. My short game has been feeling well. I think just a couple things. I did play quite well at the Honda on Sunday. I hit a couple of shots really well and that's why I scored so low.
At Bay Hill on Sunday I really didn't strike it anywhere near my best and I somehow kept the ball in play all day. I just mishit my tee shots short but they were in the fairway, and I just played from back there and made a couple putts, putted nicely and made no mistakes. I didn't get myself into too much trouble. Today I've been working on a few changes since the Match Play in my swing and now today it's starting to feel good.
Q. Adam, if you were to get your card and have full-time privileges over here, that option, what would your long-term plan be? Would you play full-time over here immediately? Would you wait a year? Two years? What would the plan be?
ADAM SCOTT: I'd probably wait a couple of years to play full-time over here. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish in Europe. I went over there with a lot of goals and I've achieved some of them, but not all of them, so I'd have to see how the rest of this year pans out over there, but I'd probably say I'd play both tours the first few years.
Q. How many here?
ADAM SCOTT: I think the minimum is 15, so I'd probably play 20 here and 11 over there.
Q. How many will you play here if you weren't to get your status?
ADAM SCOTT: If I wasn't?
Q. Yeah. How many do you have down for this year?
ADAM SCOTT: To play here this year? I think 12. 12 tournaments this year I'll play. I don't think that will change whether I make a card or whatever here.
Q. Your coach seems to think you're too nice of a guy. That's what he said. He said they almost wished they could make you more of an extrovert and imbue you with more of a killer instinct. Do you see yourself the same way?
ADAM SCOTT: Maybe. I'm working hard on being a lot tougher on myself on the course. That's a bit more killer-instinct out on the course. I'm working hard on that. I've almost got -- I think I was too much the other way when I was an amateur player and just turned professional. I was too hard on myself for making mistakes, so I calmed myself right down and just totally relaxed and decided to be really patient on the course and now I think I've gone almost too much that way. It seems every round I'm telling myself to be patient but I need to get off to better starts. I'm working hard from the word go to get out there and use that killer instinct. I think I got a good example of that when I played against Tiger.
Q. What are the changes you're working on and why did you decide to make them now?
ADAM SCOTT: After the Match Play even though I played really well, I found my posture. I was just too bent over from the waist. I didn't like it, and Butch and I looked at it, and we decided I think we can change that and it'll be better off in the long run, just a couple bad shots coming in from that. It was restricting my hip on the way down, so I've got myself standing up a little straighter and it just feels awkward. I've been struggling to get behind the ball since changing. But today was the belt it's felt since the Match Play, so that was good.
Q. Also, last year did you come straight here from Qatar?
ADAM SCOTT: I got in on Wednesday morning.
Q. So you were just exhausted, weren't you, last year?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think I had been awake for about 16 hours before I teed off in my first round. I had been awake the whole night before and teed off at 8:30 in the morning so I didn't have much hope, but it was nice to be here anyway.
I think actually I was No. 50. Because I won in Qatar it got me in here if I remember right.
Q. You didn't get in Tuesday night?
ADAM SCOTT: No, because I waited in Dubai to see when the World Rankings would come out, couldn't get a flight on Monday, left on Tuesday.
Q. But you were here on Wednesday. I remember you practicing.
ADAM SCOTT: Wednesday night.
Q. Wednesday morning.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, that's right. I got in Wednesday -- Tuesday night, Wednesday morning.
Q. What do you make of all this talk about you and Hal and I guess Kuchar, Rose, some of the young players and the next generation dealing with the whole Tiger factor. You got a little whiff of it at the Match Play, did very nicely. I'm wondering what your take on it all is.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I think it's just another way of the players coming there. There are a lot of us young players playing right now but I think that's the way the game is going. We're going to have to deal with Tiger the same way everyone else. It's going to be tough to beat the guy because he's really in our age bracket, as well. I don't know, we've all got to work hard, I guess. We can only do our best, and if it's better than him that's great, but his best is pretty good because Tiger always tries to do his best.
Q. How many Masters have you played in?
ADAM SCOTT: One.
Q. Do you like the place?
ADAM SCOTT: Love it.
Q. Would it mean anything to you to become the first from your country to win everything, particularly after everything that happened to Greg?
ADAM SCOTT: Especially because of that, yes.
Q. Can you elaborate a little bit more about the things you took out of play in head-to-head with Tiger and I'm wondering if Hal or Ernie or any of those guys will try to get you to dress a little more flashly to keep up with them.
ADAM SCOTT: I've got a few pairs of Burberry trousers in the closet and you never know when they might come out.
Q. What color?
ADAM SCOTT: Checkered, Burberry tartan, but playing with Tiger I really learned about focusing on the golf course, and I think just because it was a semifinal match that's how he is on the golf course, and I know Tiger pretty well and I've played a lot of practice rounds and I've never seen him like that before. That was a big eye-opener that he was in his zone and he didn't care what I was doing and he went out and played golf. Like I said before, that's the kind of attitude I need to take on the course. He's not rude or anything. He'll tell you good shot and nice putt and stuff like that, but he's worried about his game and getting the job done.
Q. Does seeing that up close make it any easier to integrate that into your own game or is it just something you can kind of sit back and admire?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't think it makes it any easier. I think you've got to constantly work on it. I mean, it's quite easy. Sometimes it's nice to just chat away with a guy you're playing with walking down the fairway or if they come up to you it's kind of hard to blank the guy and carry on and people will think you're a jerk. It's something you've got to kind of get in your own bubble and at the start of the round if you can show that to the other guys, that you're going to play your own game and not worry about anyone else, that's fine. I think that's how Tiger does it.
Q. Do you think Augusta sets up for you nicely?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I do. I've found it setting up great for me last year because when I'm playing my best I like to work the ball right-to-left, and it seems a lot of the holes you've got to move it right-to-left.
Q. That's the place.
ADAM SCOTT: I really played well last year. I think that will do me good coming back in this year. I drove the ball beautiful last year.
Q. First time around on those greens - you did particularly well for a first-time guy. A lot of guys, a lot of your kin talk about the greens and the culture shock they felt. Did you experience any of that or did you just have a great putting week?
ADAM SCOTT: I did putt well. I did most things well that week, but I still putted one off the green. On the 71st hole I putted the ball off the green.
Q. Sunday afternoon?
ADAM SCOTT: Yes. On 17 I was 30 feet left and putted it straight off the green. I had to get a lob wedge out and chip it back. I definitely made some mistakes around there, but I think I just played to -- I hit the ball in the right places on the greens to not allow myself to have all those ridiculous putts.
Q. Adam, with you splitting time back and forth on the two tours, is there a big difference for you in the comfort level for you playing in America versus in Europe? What's just the biggest difference for you?
ADAM SCOTT: I think now -- this is really my third year of kind of coming over here a little bit. Most of the guys are over here now, and I feel like I kind of belong. I'm not just a kid getting a lucky invite anymore like I was lucky to get them three years ago. I feel pretty comfortable playing over here and I definitely feel comfortable playing in Europe because that's where I spend most of my time.
The biggest difference is the depth of the field. You've got to play good to make the cut and you've got to play great to win.
Q. You went to Europe and you stated that you were going to sort of develop in Europe, and a lot of people think and thought that was a good idea. Have you looked at it all along as you would sort of wean yourself in Europe and then come over here and try to play here full-time, maybe pattern your career a little bit after Els? Is that fair?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it could be one of my goals. It really is Greg who gave me the advice of going to Europe. I know Greg has been four years maybe in Europe, five years in Europe playing, and then he moved over here. It's not necessarily that I'm copying what those guys did. Greg and Butch both felt that when I turn pro my game was at a level where I could do quite well in Europe but probably couldn't handle the big time over here.
Q. Every week?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, every week, there's a lot of pressure over here when you're playing, so I kind of developed over there and I did play quite well over there. Europe has been fantastic for me and I love playing over there.
Q. Not that you care what anybody else does, but did you see at all Baddeley struggles? You guys did it two totally different ways. Did you sort of feel as though -- did he reaffirm your decision? Did it have any bearing at all on your --
ADAM SCOTT: No, not really. I think it was just that Aaron had such a desire to play here and that's all he had been brought up thinking about, and that's why he wanted to play over here so badly, whereas I really -- I didn't really have a problem with going to Europe and playing. I felt like I wanted to play as much as I could. I just needed a Tour card and I felt my best chance was in Europe.
Q. Were you one of those guys that would make up at 4:00 in the morning and watch the matters back home?
ADAM SCOTT: Yes.
Q. I guess everybody does.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, everybody does.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Adam Scott, thank you.
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