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May 16, 2018
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Adam Scott into the Interview Room here at the AT&T Byron Nelson. He's making his fifth start at this event and is our 2008 champion.
Adam, your first start here since 2012. Welcome back. Get some comments, please.
ADAM SCOTT: Thank you. It's exciting to come to a new venue here at the Byron Nelson which has been a great tournament for a long time and a big change obviously coming to Trinity and a very different golf course for us on the PGA TOUR.
So, you know, I'm going to embrace the challenge of this golf course this week and having some variety I think is a good thing and hopefully all the other players embrace it, too, and continue to keep this tournament in a stature that we know it is.
JOHN BUSH: I know your game is trending in the right direction, tied for 11th place last week at The Players. Just get some comments on your game and your expectations going forward.
ADAM SCOTT: I played solidly last week. There was a lot of positive signs for me. It's a demanding venue, easy to make mistakes and I didn't make too many and that's kind of been what's cost me this year.
So, although I didn't challenge Webb or finish in the Top-10 even, there was some good consistent play for four rounds and that's what I haven't seen in my golf very much this year. So I like those signs.
I changed to the long putter a couple weeks ago and that's been a nice thing for me because I putt well with it and it's been kind of free of thought.
As we all know, when things aren't going well on the greens or anywhere else in the game, you can overthink things and I think I got to that point.
So, it was a good change and I look forward to kind of riding some wave of momentum hopefully forward from this point on.
Q. So what specifically brought you back this year, was it the challenge you just mentioned? Why did you decide to play the Nelson?
ADAM SCOTT: I was interested to come to the golf course. It's a Coore/Crenshaw course and obviously they're very reputable designers and it fit my schedule well. Obviously part of me wants to play this week no matter what with the situation I'm in in qualifying for the U.S. Open but I was playing anywhere, whether that was the case or not, and, you know, I think even though it hasn't fit my schedule ideally the last few years, as a past champion you always have a favor favoritism to the tournaments you've been successful at and certainly everybody involved with this tournament has been very understanding and encouraging to me over the years.
So, it was nice that it fit in for me to play this year.
Q. Adam, when you are going to a golf course you've never been to before, you know, a lot of the young players now will say I Goggle Earth and looked around, what kind of research or do you do any research before you come or do you kind of come with an open mind and then try to experience it and take notes?
ADAM SCOTT: I saw pictures maybe on-line, some photographs because there was a lot of talk in the locker room over the last few months about this golf course because it's very different than most PGA TOUR venues and so curiosity got the better of me.
I had a look and I don't know that I learned much by looking at any photographs on-line but, you know, I feel like experience counts for a little bit less in the game these years but maybe when you come to a course like this that we don't play a lot of tournament golf on, maybe experience of playing a lot round the world and even trips to places like Cabot Links last year might come in handy when you get to play this week, being I would be a little more creative and understand what you should or shouldn't take on as far as the greens are.
So, probably one look at the golf course, like I've had 18 holes isn't enough to fully understand but I think I'll feel pretty comfortable out there tomorrow and certainly by the weekend I think, you know, I'll have a good understanding of how to play this tract.
Q. Adam, would you prefer to see this place play firm and fast or would you like to see it a little softer to start the week and then work your way into things?
ADAM SCOTT: It needs to play firm for sure otherwise the features are kind of taken away from it, the option of running it up from the front of the green, playing long the ground a little more. It looks like it's been designed to play like. So firm is something.
The greens were a little quick yesterday in the wind. I mean they're quite severe, some of the slopes on the green, and if they get too fast I think it's going to be a little hard to control anything running up on to the green, you know, kind of needs to find that good balance point of challenging and fair so it will receive a nice run-up shot or even a nice shot that's it in through the air. Firm is definitely a good thing.
I think probably if I was setting the course up the first two days I'd be fairly generous with pin placements and then maybe have at it on the weekend.
Q. Adam, two things. One, what is it that you like about courses like this and secondly, is heat like we're expected to have these next four, five days, a real problem for you or players generally?
ADAM SCOTT: I think the variety of this golf course. I mean it's tough to come here once and really give fair assessment on the golf course and that's why I'm trying to be a little reserved and just keep an open mind because I've only hit a few shots out there.
If I was a member here playing here all the time I think I would enjoy it a lot because I'm given lots of different challenges and ways to play this one golf course depending on pin spots or wind or just where you end up, you can run a shot up or you can fly a shot the whole way.
So, there's lots of different stuff to entertain you out there and I think that's the challenge and also the difference between what we usually play, which is we're given kind of one option all the time on how to play a shot.
The heat this week could be a factor. There's no trees to shade under out there so there's no escaping the heat and I'm expecting pretty slow rounds out there, to be honest with the greens so big, guys are going to have hundred foot putts regularly and they have 7 different breaks in them so we're going to be playing slow and, you know, five and a half hours out in 100 degrees is going to wear on you a little bit. Going to have to be weary of fluids and all that kind of stuff this week.
Q. Adam, you named your son last year Byron. How much of that was owed to Byron Nelson and do you have any memorable stories of meeting Nelson?
ADAM SCOTT: I couldn't hear the end of the question.
Q. You named your son Byron last year. I was wondering how much of that was it owed to Byron Nelson and what kind of memorable stories do you have of meeting Mr. Nelson?
ADAM SCOTT: Sure. It was a combination of a few things I liked. I definitely liked Byron Nelson, significance in his name and the fact I won this tournament. It's a very strong name, I thought and my wife thought, also. Lord Byron was, obviously, a highly regarded poet and we liked that.
We like the English language and Byron Bay is a really nice place to play in Australia, as well.
So, there was lots of different things that influenced it. I do like from the golf standpoint the fact that Byron Nelson is considered a true gentleman and if my Byron can be anything like that, doesn't have to be a champion golfer but, if he can be a gentleman, I'd be very, very proud.
So, I had a nice first ever meeting with Byron Nelson at the Masters in 2002. He used to sit on the par 3 on the first tee of the par 3 tournament and I was a 21 year old kid who just snuck in the tournament at that time and went to play the par 3 and I can't remember who I was playing with but I saw him, walked over to Byron Nelson sitting there and of course I knew who he was and he had his hat on and they all said hello and paid their respects to him.
I went over and before I could say Mr. Nelson, he said, "Adam, it's nice to see you here, you're going to have a great career."
I was pretty touched by the fact that he even knew who I was, and so, you know, again, I learned how good a man he was and how much of an interest he was taking in the game at that point so it was really great to see, you know.
Obviously loved the game of golf.
Q. Adam, Australia where you're from sports betting is very prevalent. Now in America with the recent Court decision sports betting is going to be legal here in America along with golf.
Do you think it will have a big impact on the PGA TOUR on people in the America will be able to bet on sports and golf like they do back in Australia, UK as well?
ADAM SCOTT: For people who like betting it will, yeah, absolutely. I mean -- they'll probably take more of an interest in golf if they don't already. People who like betting like to bet on anything it seems to they'll -- might pick up a few more fans from that. I don't know.
I think people bet on whether which caddy is going to get to the green first already on the PGA TOUR when they're sitting in the stands. I don't see it having an affect on us as players. Hopefully it has a positive effect generally for the game of golf or the industry or the Tour, whatever you want to say.
Q. Adam, are you aware of the world ranking projections for this week and how much is the U.S. Open on your mind?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know. I know I got to move up five spots but I figure if I play well, I might be able to do that, you know. I guess I got to finish pretty high.
So, I feel like my game is in a place where I'm not going to come in here and say I should win but I'm going to be trying my hardest to win this tournament this week and then I'll take anything from there.
Obviously I want to get in the U.S. Open but it's not my last chance, either. I'm prepared to play the next few weeks and play my way in right to the end if I have to, but I'd love to play really well this week and have a chance to win and hopefully lock-up a spot in the U.S. Open and then I can schedule myself really nicely the next few weeks.
Q. Adam, I want to ask you about Trinity Forest itself. Kind of gives me that Chambers Bay type of feel and, of course, you fire a 64 that final round in the 205 U.S. Open.
Does Trinity give you that Chambers Bay feel kind of like it does to me?
ADAM SCOTT: Might be drawing a little bit of a long bow there but I can see where you're coming from. I mean Chambers Bay had some really extreme things going on and this does as well.
However, I think this is playing -- this has grass on the greens for a start (laughter). So that's a real positive. Yeah, from the creativity side I think you're coming from in all seriousness, absolutely, and I think you're going to see some interesting stuff.
The guys who get it quick are going to really do well around the greens and going to be able to get the ball very close from positions that look quite difficult and the guys who don't use their imagination are going to struggle a little bit, hit good shots and not get good results.
That's going to be the challenge this week is really all around the greens and using that imagination even from a couple hundred yards out and using some slopes to bring it in rather than fly it in.
I kind of like the fact that we're not walking up and down the massive side of a mountain here and that everything is very healthy and looks well.
Q. You mentioned talk in the locker room among your peers about this course. Is it a links thing that is just a little hesitant on? Is it so much different with that that's what they're basing it on or is it other things as well?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. Look, just most majorities just don't like different, do they? This is just different than what we normally roll out and play.
You know, people are going to get put out of their comfort zones and not many people like that, you know.
The greatest players have all managed to succeed out of their comfort zones and learn to love links or learn to love a parkland golf to succeed, and I think the greatest champions over time have all done that and whoever is going to be here this week will be someone who really embraces the different challenges of this golf.
You're not going to be able to fight it out there this week. You're going to have to go with it and hit a nice shot from 200 out one time and catch the wrong side of the hill and you'll have some putt that you would never feel like you deserve but that's a different style of golf than target golf that we're used to playing.
You're just going to have to do your best to two-putt it or however many putts you need to make to get down and move on and get the right rub of the green on the next one. That's probably the links side of golf. There's a bit more rub of the green, a little less predictability.
I think if I think about Tiger who has grown up playing golf in America but just had this instant desire to love links golf and win the Opens and he showed so much creativity in his game that was apparently just suited to win on the U.S. Tour, he embraced the challenges of all parts of the game and he did it all.
So, it's kind of how I see it. The guy that does that this week will do well.
JOHN BUSH: All good? Adam Scott, thank you sir. Best of luck this week.
ADAM SCOTT: Thanks.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports