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February 22, 2017

Adam Scott

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

AMANDA HETHERINGTON: We'd like to welcome our defending champion, Adam Scott to the interview room back here at The Honda Classic.

Adam, great memories here for you. Sparked that two-win last season. Getting back into competition this year, how are you feeling?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was good to be back into it last week. It's one of my favorite venues and it's a comfortable place for me to start. Good and bad; to be expected, the first week out after a bit of a break. I think hopefully, I've ironed out the bad the last couple of days here.

And then coming into The Honda Classic, good memories from last year. Some of my best golf I've ever played here. Tee-to-green, certainly, but just generally, anyway, was here last year. So as soon as I stepped on a few tees, I've seen a few better shots than I've been watching last week. Just got that good feeling coming back and I'm quite happy with where things sit last week.

The big thing for me last week was my short game was pretty sharp and I putted well. It's a nice way to start the year and try and keep that going for a little longer.

Q. What was the bad last week?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I missed a lot of fairways last week, which I don't -- I'm not the straightest driver of the golf ball but I normally hit my fair share, and I didn't last week, and that made it pretty hard to score around Riviera without scrambling. I felt like I could go six or seven holes without a birdie opportunity. My score was pretty good considering I felt I hit the ball well below par for me.

It was just some alignment stuff, basic things, angles, dangles, all that, so they are straightened out.

Q. What's the balance of being really fresh this time of year, versus feeling a little bit behind when you have guys who have won three times already? What's that balance for you?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it depends what you're looking at. If you're looking at the FedExCup list right now, I'm not in great shape.

But you know, a big focus for me obviously is the majors, and I think I'll be very fresh when I get to Augusta with only three more events before that. But there's an important stretch of June through August, as well, which is months away, and a lot of golf before we get there and I want to make sure I'm fresh for that.

For me, taking that significant break away is important, so that I can stay fresh. I don't know whether that means I'm old and not that fresh anymore (smiling) but I think it's important for me to do that, and it's got some results in the past. With a few little modifications this year, I'm looking forward to getting some better results again.

Q. Who are you working with now on your swing?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't work with anyone on my swing.

Q. Talk about the decision to do it on your own, the pluses and minuses.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, pluses are it's pretty simple. I only argue with myself about it (laughter).

Q. Do you win most of those arguments?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I do. It's amazing. But the minuses are, I think even if you know your swing well, and even if you can manage it, you don't have someone just to talk to about it. Just being golfers, we like to talk a lot about ourselves and our rounds and our swing, and everything. Some of it is relevant and some of it's not. But that's probably one of the minuses I think.

Q. Who is your second set of eyes, or do you have one? Everyone needs another set of eyes occasionally.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, absolutely. I use my phone a lot more for videoing these days. That's really about it at the moment. I try not to ask too many people little things because I think that can lead to problems. So until I have some real issues, I'm just going to leave it that way and keep it as simple as I possibly can. I think that's a nice way to be with the golf swing.

I hit the ball great tee-to-green last year, but of course, there are always -- there were a few weeks last year where I didn't hit it really good either. So I'm not really panicking about last week. I think I got that sorted out and back on track this week.

Q. How long have you been doing that as a solo act?
ADAM SCOTT: Since the start of last year.

Q. You're not looking for any particular --
ADAM SCOTT: For the swing, I've been talking with a good buddy of mine back home a little bit about short game, and he's definitely helped me with that.

Q. Rummy?
ADAM SCOTT: No, not Rummy. He's doing fine playing. He doesn't need to coach just yet.

Q. Reason I ask is because you won last year, you said that --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, absolutely. Rummy and I have talked a lot about golf over the years. We've played a lot of golf together. I think we had a connection there with the broomstick putter for awhile, so we shared a bit of information back and forth. Rummy's got a lot of information to share, and it's good information, too. His short game is phenomenal.

Everyone out here picks little bits up from all the other players around, too.

Q. Wasn't there someone --
ADAM SCOTT: Matt Ballard, he was playing the tours in Australia and Asia for a long time. I grew up roughly his age. He's a bit older than me. Yeah, he works at the club where I am living at home at Century Cove and I've spent some time with him talking about it and kind of just got a little direction and it's been really good.

That's about it. That's where I want to leave it for now. I don't want to go any further.

Q. On that note, is your primary residence where you spend most of your time -- where?
ADAM SCOTT: Switzerland.

Q. Besides Switzerland --
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know anywhere else. What are you talking about?

Q. Where do you --
ADAM SCOTT: We spend about the same amount of time in Switzerland, Bahamas and Australia between the three, moving around a fair bit, and that's getting tougher and tougher as we have a growing family.

Q. And a swing coach --
ADAM SCOTT: Maybe why I don't have one.

Q. When you come back to this course as defending champion --
ADAM SCOTT: It really depends on the conditions. In the wind today, it's just so difficult. They are not short par 3s and there's no room for error. If you get it on a nice day, and you can hit 7-irons in there, they are just tough holes. But if you get it on a windy day and you have to start putting longer clubs to hold it against the wind, otherwise there's no chance of hitting a green.

Or you try and hit it -- you play for a bunker but hit a great shot and miss the bunker on the other side and you can't chip it on the green; you know, it is trouble, and I've had plenty of it around there in the past. That's just the way it is. One of those where you have to stand up and hit a good golf shot and there's nothing else you can do.

Q. You've played around the world probably more than 90 percent of the guys on this tour. Wonder if you have any nerves at all about playing in Mexico City next week given the alleged lawlessness in certain parts of that town?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I don't think so. I'm sure the TOUR has taken all the precautions necessarily. I'm not worried about that. I've visited México about that and like lots of places we go, yeah, there's time but there's crime everywhere. It's maybe higher in some places but when you go big cities, you stay away from those areas, and you're usually fine.

Just the way the world is at times. You can be unlucky at times where you get caught somewhere and it's just unlucky but let's hope there's none of that and it will be fine next week. I'm looking forward to it. It's good to have a World Golf Championships on foreign soil, I guess, to America, moving it around even though it's not moved that far, it's still good for golf to do that.

Q. Ever played 7,700 feet before?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I don't think so. Crans Montana is about 4,500, 5,000 feet. I don't know what Denver is -- so this is pretty high. I think the TrakMan is going to get a workout next week to find out how far you actually hit it. Which is nice, rather than guessing like seven percent or five percent or what we used to do.

Q. If you had a preference, would you like to leave THE PLAYERS in May and PGA in August, or move THE PLAYERS to March and PGA to May?
ADAM SCOTT: I like the change. I do. I love THE PLAYERS in March. I know I won in March. But I thought it was great in March. Back then it felt like this is the start of important golf for the year. It was just a few weeks before the Masters, two maybe, and it just had a big-tournament feel. It still does have a big-tournament feel, but it's maybe unnecessarily searching for its own identity there in May. I don't think it's necessary with PLAYERS. I think it's spectacular, anyway. I'd like to see it go to March.

And I definitely would like to see the PGA many May. It won't be as hot at some of the places we have to go. I think that will be nice, and maybe give us more or less options for golf courses, I don't know. May is pretty early for some northeast golf courses but I think it could be a good move.

Q. And the season earlier, the active season, would you like to see that end earlier? It would probably end the FedEx at the end of August?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I do. I mean, I think the obvious reason is to not compete against the football, and I could understand that. You know, I think the TOUR does need -- we need to give everyone a break of PGA TOUR golf. We need to get the fans wanting to see it. Starve them a little bit so they are really ramped up for the season, just like everyone is for football.

That's what I see with football. When football season gets close, everyone gets so excited. But we just seem to roll on week-after-week, month-after-month. I'd love to see the TOUR end and have a couple-month break where there is no golf and everyone gets really amped up for the new season.

Q. If the situation was like that where it was so compact, would that work to your detriment, having to pile on more tournaments playing in that stretch?
ADAM SCOTT: I haven't looked into it that much, Doug. But when are they changing the schedule --

Q. Probably never.
ADAM SCOTT: I think years away. But yeah, look, the schedule tightened up in 2007 when the FedExCup started and we played more tournaments in a shorter span. But I think the balance is quite good right now. Potentially, yeah, I looked at a couple things that were mentioned the other day, and it was pretty crammed at the back end, and I had concerns for one World Golf Championship that was kind of wedged in between all this other important stuff, and how players might feel about that.

Yeah, I think what I was getting at there with Jaime was there's just too many golf tournaments and that's why we need to take a break and not just have week-after-week, because no one -- we can't play every week to the highest level, I don't believe.

Q. How much attention have you paid to the No. 1 ranking --
ADAM SCOTT: Not really, because I'm not involved in it at the moment. I need about maybe six months to get there.

Q. (Would you like to have a run at it again)?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I think it's been fairly competitive. Jason's been solid at No. 1, but I've spent most of my career, or at least the first half of my career, it was just a non-event. It was just Tiger by double the points everyone else was on.

I can honestly say for that time, I just ruled being world No. 1 out of the equation. Fortunately I was patient to hang around long enough and have a run at it and got there.

But yeah, I think it's good for the guys at the top. They are highly motivated. There are probably four guys right now who aren't too far away; I haven't looked, but I'll guess. And guys like me who sit a bit further back, and one of my big missions this year was to get back up and have a shot at going for No. 1 again before it's all too far gone for me.

I'd like to have a run at that. But like I said, it's a few months away of putting together some really, really solid golf before I could even probably think about getting there.

Q. Will Doral be missed --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, it's one of those things, it is a shame not to have it on the list because it's been a big part of the TOUR for so long. We've been going down there since 62, yeah. Absolutely. And I played well there. I will miss it.

We're in, everything kind of evolves and moves on in the world, and I think golf's so stuck in traditions and things. I think we're a bit sentimental with some things and we have to move on and let it go and take it for what it was. It was a pretty good run. Better than most courses. They had a 50-something year run there.

Q. When you were No. 1 --
ADAM SCOTT: I think I probably relaxed when I got there and maybe I should have treated it a bit differently and I might have actually stayed there a bit longer. I was just -- the sense of accomplishment was great, and I was obviously playing well. So I didn't really try and put more pressure on myself to play better or perform like a No. 1. I just wanted to play and enjoy that feeling, knowing that I was the No. 1 golfer in the world, and it only lasted about seven or eight weeks I think, and then Rory had an amazing run of golf and knocked me off the perch.

I think yeah, it's pretty motivating to think I could work my way back up there and I feel I spent enough time doing enough thinking and planning that that's a realistic goal for me.

Q. If you got to No. 1 --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I'm not sure if I would, even though I just said I should have then (laughter) but I'm a little bit older now, and I think again, it's just a self-satisfaction. It's just to push myself to play better now to get to that goal. I wouldn't see myself being obsessed with being the No. 1 player, but if I got back there, I think I would have ticked a lot of boxes of what do I want to achieve to get there. So it's kind of the motivating thing to get me playing well.

Q. Who would you say -- inaudible.
ADAM SCOTT: Look, I think I have to say, Rory, and that's with no disrespect to the others, but he's the more accomplished player, as well. The others all have incredible attributes, and Dustin is a phenomena to watch. I've played with him two days last week, and just the flow and fluidity in his golf swing is so nice. It's like a teenager swinging the club. He's just so supple. He has great touch and looks good with the putter, and all these things.

Of course he's the No. 1 player in the world right now. And to me, that has, on their best days, Rory and Dustin, very hard to separate, other than I think Rory's more accomplished at the moment. So I guess Rory.


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