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January 9, 2019
THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Adam Scott to the interview room for the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii. This is your eighth start at this event after a two-year absence. Tell us how it feels to be back.
ADAM SCOTT: It's good to be back obviously. Any time you're in Hawaii is a good thing. It was nice for me. I've had quite a long break, so this was quite easy to put on the schedule this year as a place to start and come back. It's just as convenient for me coming from Australia as anyone else coming from America or the mainland to come over here.
I played a couple years ago, and although my result here wasn't very good, showed me a few things I needed to work on to get the year going. Then I came out and played a really fantastic 2016. So I kind of feel like I hope it does similar this week. I feel like my game is in quite good shape, so I would like to contend here this week. If I don't I'll get a good picture of what I need to work on the next few weeks before I play the rest of the west coast.
THE MODERATOR: Awesome. Questions.
Q. I think you last played in October. How do you prepare for a season when you have a break that long? Did you break it up so that the first four weeks were mine and the next four weeks focused on the new season?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I have taken long breaks before where I haven't played until L.A., but I just I didn't play in Australia last year, which was the difference. So I got the break and I get to start a little earlier this year. I gave myself a fair break. I think it was six weeks before I -- four weeks completely mine, six weeks without a club. My main focus really was just working on a few little things in my body for this year to be a little better.
So although I didn't practice or work on mechanics and all these kind of things, I was fairly diligent with my fitness, if you would call it that. Just keeping my body fresh and moving and trying to be in a better place starting this year than where I finished last year.
With that, I feel very fresh mentally obviously coming here. But even with six weeks without touching a club it was interesting, probably the longest in many years that I haven't touched a club, but it felt like about five days that I hadn't touched a club. I felt quite quickly when I stepped out on the course, within a few holes, felt like I was quite familiar with what I was doing.
So after all these years, there is some muscle memory in there of what I'm meant to do.
Q. How is your hunger? What do you have left to achieve in your mind?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I've got a lot. I would like to think most of my achievements are still to come. You can't escape -- for me it's about winning major championships. That's the measure of a career really in this game, but it's always the process of getting there. You don't just show up and win majors randomly, or not multiple majors randomly. Maybe it can happen once. You can luck into one, but not multiple majors.
So achieve what I want to achieve I can't leave it up to luck. There is a lot of work to get there, but I feel like I'm on the right track back. There are lots of adjustments throughout my professional and personal life the last few years. As frustrating as it is not to perform as good as you want, took me some time to just figure out how to balance everything out. I think I'm on a good track now. Obviously that's all good things.
The biggest adjustment has been not sleeping well for two years. You know, it's a big change from logging a lot of hours to just to sleep, and you try and manage it your best. There is not much you can do unless you move out of the house, which sometimes might be a good idea.
I feel like I'm in a really good place to take on this year. I really want to get back to winning. I feel like that's something that I've always prided myself on in my career, that I was winning tournaments yearly. It's been a couple years now.
Q. So you have sorted that out now?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I don't know if I'll ever sort it out. I feel like the kids are a little bit older. I think there is a big adjustment from having one kid to two kids. Just in my life I think it was a lot on my plate with my personality and the way our household was running. We had to make some adjustments.
Q. Obviously you spoke about some of the goals there. I know it's very early and I'll get some looks, but do you have December in your mind?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, absolutely, because, one, I didn't play last year in Australia. That was a difficult decision I think for me. I'm excited to go back and play the PGA and the Australian Open or whatever tournament we have down there.
Of course the bigger one will be the Presidents Cup, you know, with Ernie as captain. He's made his intentions very clear -- certainly to me, but I think to all the potential players -- how much he wants to improve our chances as a team and the work he's going to put in.
For me, considering Ernie is really a great friend and mentor of mine, I really want to be on that team. Just got to tick the boxes along the way. I feel like if I get back to winning form I'm going to be on the team.
Q. Do we need more passion from...
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, yeah, I think so. I think it's a very difficult equation to solve our international team. It's not throwing one nation in a room, and it doesn't mean we don't want to play hard, but the bond is obviously a little bit more difficult, and changing faces a lot could be interesting team.
Maybe they need to get rid of the old guy like me that hasn't had any success in the Presidents Cup. I say this jokingly. For me now it would mean so much to be on a winning team; just to turn it around would be quite an achievement. One, I want to play really good and get on the team and change things for later this year.
Q. Adam, just the idea than Benny a minute ago said we, do you feel like you have any chance at all to win with him on the team?
ADAM SCOTT: He has invited himself in with this we statement.
Q. The not playing home this year, was that just more of a scheduling thing?
ADAM SCOTT: Just had to have a real break. Like I was saying earlier, I really didn't touch a club for six weeks and felt like I needed that. If I would've played at home I would've interrupted a real break and probably not prepared well for the event there, not performed well.
I can't handle that. I did that the year before. It doesn't do the tournaments any good; doesn't do my own confidence any good to half prepare for events that in Australia are considered very important.
I felt like I was away from my family a lot last year; played a few extra events. Certainly through the middle of the year I was trying really hard to get my form back. It kind of came back at the end of the year, but sacrificed throughout the year.
I felt like some better time off would be beneficial for everyone.
Q. Looking ahead to next year and the Presidents Cup, do you see any issues or solutions to when you're going to have the U.S. captain of the Presidents Cup the week before trying to encourage guys to play in the Bahamas when it's a nice week for the Australian Open to finally get a boost? What do you do with that one?
ADAM SCOTT: Fortunately, I don't have any skin in either game there, but it's a tricky one. Look, I think speaking as an international, it's a slight advantage if some U.S. players are in the Bahamas the week before and they're arriving Tuesday, which I think -- well, they might finish Saturday.
Q. Saturday, yeah.
ADAM SCOTT: So they'll arrive Monday. Still, it's a big trip; massive time change. That doesn't mean they can't play well, but I think it's helpful. I speak more from our side that I hope that Ernie and anyone else can encourage some of the internationals to be down in Australia early and give the tournament a boost that way.
I don't expect everyone to just come and play the Australian Open because it's the week before the Presidents Cup. It's not on a sand belt course. But, I'm happy if they do, because the Australian is a great track, and two weeks down there is nice. I think everyone that comes down has a good time.
I'm certainly looking for the internationals to prepare the best they can for the Presidents Cup. If we're serious about challenging the U.S. team, we need to not just show up this year. We need to prepare.
Q. So you'll be skipping Tiger's event?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't think there is any way I can play Tiger's event this year. Might not let me back in Australia if I skip the Australian Open and played in Tiger's event. They might just take my passport.
Q. Just curious, Jordan was in here, and you were No. 1 in the world at one time and so was he. So many ebbs and flows, highs and lows. How do you approach going from No. 1 to having a few down times and trying to build yourself back up? What's the process like? Physical? Mental? What is it?
ADAM SCOTT: I wouldn't say it was sudden for me. I mean, I think it would be --
Q. I didn't mean to suggest that.
ADAM SCOTT: No, but I think it would be more confusing or less explainable if it was sudden. You're No. 1 and all of a sudden you didn't make a cut for 12 months and you're No. 80. I mean, that's probably never happened, but form comes and goes. It is ebbs and flows. It's a long career. This is 18, 19, 20 years I've been doing it. It's been five years since I was No. 1 nearly.
You know, everyone's and your own expectations can be very high. When you look at a guy playing well you wonder how he'll ever play poorly again. You see that often. To sustain it, Tiger has set the mark to a point that is unrealistic almost for anybody else and with where the game is right now. I just don't see the separation in players the way Tiger separated himself from everyone for ten years.
I've seen it for 12, 18 months recently, but, I mean, that's doesn't get close to a decade. It's frustrating. The biggest thing is to not get in your own way so much. I was guilt of that over the past 18 months because frustration gets in your way.
If you put some perspective on it, ranking 50th in the world, it's not completely terrible. I still think being the ranked 50th ranked player I can win a tournament any week with my experience and the potential of my game. I just need to sort it out; get myself in a good mindset going on the course.
I think that's as important as some of the technical stuff. Just got to give yourself a break sometimes. It's just not going to be easy for 20 years to walk out and shoot a low score.
Q. Given the condensed schedule this year, was it more difficult to figure out where you were and weren't going to play? Are there any changes to your schedule because of it?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it probably would if you really got looking into it in depth, and in the end I just kind of took the simple approach and thought I'll just play the ones I like and that make sense to play out of the way. Any inconvenience, whether it's a big tournament or not -- I don't know how everyone can define a big tournament differently -- but at them moment I have not scheduled a World Golf Championship because they don't fall in the right weeks for me.
I feel like there are good tournaments right around them that are a preferred option. It is a tricky -- I thought that was interesting for my schedule change. I wouldn't have thought that was the case, but that is the case at the moment.
Q. Would you be surprised given the time off and rest if you were contending Sunday afternoon here?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't think so. I would be excited. I don't think I would be surprised. I feel like I swung the club quite nicely the last week that I've really been playing every day.
I think with where the course is, there are some firm areas on the green, a little bit of rough could be costing you a shot here or there. Just slight mistake with an iron in and it can get away. The greens are quite firm and some of the new greens have quite a lot more movement than the old ones, and all of a sudden you're 60 feet and have a lot of movement in the putt; cost you a shot.
I think as long as there is plenty of good stuff, hopefully it can far outweigh some of the rough.
Q. In your six weeks away, did you see anybody swing a golf club in person or on television?
ADAM SCOTT: Probably not. I don't think I saw a lot of golf, no. We don't have the Golf Channel in Australia.
Q. Were you able to watch The Match?
ADAM SCOTT: No. Didn't watch that in Australia.
ADAM SCOTT: Couldn't watch it in America. (Laughter.) Fortunately we have print news down there. We can read that. Yeah, we just got them. (Laughter.)
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time. Good luck this week.
ADAM SCOTT: Thanks.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports