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April 12, 2019

Adam Scott

Augusta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for coming down to see Adam Scott, who is tied for the lead at 7‑under. He recorded a 4‑under par 68, is currently tied for the lead.
Adam had three birdies, 8, 12, 13, and an eagle on 15. After a 40‑minute rain delay and a fantastic drive on 15, what was going through your mind while you were waiting to think about your second shot on 15?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I had teed off just before they delayed us, so I went up and marked my ball and we waited. It was probably 40 minutes in between shots, and came out and the wind had picked up, so my shot got significantly longer, and it was now instead of a 4‑iron, it was now a 2‑iron, and I was thinking whether I should be smart and lay it up or not.
Had that discussion with the caddie, but it was kind of a perfect number for a 2‑iron, if there is such a thing, on 15 at Augusta, and hit a great shot, which set up an eagle, and these are the kind of momentum things that you have to sometimes make happen to put yourself in a good position.
So when you're swinging well, you have to go for it, and it was‑‑ I don't know if it was the smartest decision, but it certainly paid off.

Q. To call this leaderboard star‑studded would be an understatement. Entering a weekend like that, have you ever seen anything like that, and how do you try to formulate a game plan with so many guys who are capable of going low?
ADAM SCOTT: It must have happened at some point but this is really stacked (laughter). I think it's going to be an incredible weekend no matter what happens now. There are so many great players in with a chance, and I think my game has to be the same as where I started the week, and I wanted my ball‑striking to kind of show up this week a little more than it has any other week this year, and it looks like it has by the stats there.
But I want to lean on that this weekend and hopefully the putter can warm up a little bit. It was good‑‑ it was pretty good for two days, but you know, a hot putter will go a long way on the weekend. But if I can rely on that ball‑striking, then that will take some of the pressure off and maybe free me up a little bit.

Q. I was just going to ask you about that, so I'll just briefly say, does it really come down to the putter now for you, the way you're swinging? And the confidence that you have in this place, knowing what you've done in the past, how much does that come into play, especially on a weekend where you're right there?
ADAM SCOTT: If I would have hit it like I have for the next two days, then it is down to the putter for sure. But you know, the good thing for me is I've been putting great this year when I haven't hit it so good.
So I feel like I just keep doing the same thing that I've been doing. Hopefully bring out the same rhythm with the golf swing tomorrow, and that certainly got me into a good spot so far.
I guess the confidence, knowing you can win, is a big thing. That was a similar kind of way I played in 2013. I just slowly chipped away all week and ended up at the top after 72 with Angel. A good front nine over the weekend could go a long, long way over this tournament, and maybe separate some guys from the field.
But if no one's able to do that, it's really going to be, you know, a survival of the fittest out there. It is really an incredible leaderboard. I think it's exciting to be a part of.

Q. You stayed really patient the first two days. Is that part of the game plan, and is it easier to do here? And do you have insight as to why you play so well when it's overcast, dreary, sort of wet weather?
ADAM SCOTT: It's easy to stay patient if you're hitting it well here, you know, because you're going to give yourself some chances, and eventually they are going to go in.
All parts of my game, I'm very confident in at the moment, and you know, when I am hitting it well, that's where I play my best golf from, generally.
So that helps me stay calm out there, and patient, and all the things that you're meant to be doing, I guess, when you're playing major championships.
I don't know, I think it's maybe coincidental, the overcast weather.

Q. Do you know that you've never shot two rounds in the 60s to start the Masters?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. I could have guessed. I didn't, but I could have guessed (laughter).

Q. What's different about this year, in your words?
ADAM SCOTT: I've really worked on everything with the Masters in mind from the start of the year, much like I did in 2013. I probably have done every year, but a little bit more intent, maybe, this year.
Certainly some similarities to that year in 2013, you know, where I want to prove to myself that I've got it, and I've worked at it and certainly the last three weeks, I haven't played a golf tournament since THE PLAYERS and the focus has purely been on being ready for here. So, so far, so good.
But now it comes down to seeing whether it's actually going to pay off.

Q. You said in 2013, there was just this feeling all week that you were going to win. What's the feeling this year?
ADAM SCOTT: It was more a feeling for the three months leading up to it that I was going to win and I was going to try to not think about it when I was here winning. I don't think it does you a lot of good, thinking about winning, until it comes down to it.
But like I hinted before, I mean, I was quietly confident that I could see every part of my game was where I wanted it to be, and if my striking wasn't there this week, I felt like I could lean on my short game because it's as good as it's ever felt, but the striking has been there.
So I've been playing fairly stress‑free so far. I've been in a little bit of trouble, but I managed to dig myself out of it.

Q. What happened on the putt on 16?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I just kind of flinched a little bit. There was‑‑ something happened on 15 in the middle of my backswing and I just wasn't focused enough. I wasn't fully locked in to the putt, and hopefully that's a really great reminder for me of what needs to happen here over the weekend. You have to be so committed on every shot here. You can't take anything for granted. And that will certainly be a trigger for me as I have any shot this week, just to really get into what I'm doing and just to have those blinkers and earmuffs on.

Q. Was that easier to maybe get over than it would have been in the past, given some of the things you've talked about so far?
ADAM SCOTT: Easier to get over, sorry?

Q. Yeah.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was annoying because it was a bit of a wasted shot, not necessary. But like I said, you have to hit shots with real conviction around here, otherwise anything could happen, and you know, a bogey is a bogey; I have to move on.
I played the last two holes really well, so I was happy with that.

Q. You said the last three weeks when you haven't played, you've been working with the Masters in mind, obviously. Can you be more specific about how you prepare for it? I'm guessing you don't have greens like this at home.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, where I've been practicing, certainly picks up the pace of the greens, and you can't replicate Augusta National probably anywhere, but you can certainly get on some speedy greens. It gave me time to really work on my golf swing, the couple little bits that I wanted to, to lift my ball‑striking up. It was nearly there at THE PLAYERS, but I felt like I could use that time wisely to do that, and the rest of the time is just kind of putting in some hours on the putting green, managing the short game, and getting some rest and getting the body in top condition and trying to peak.
I mean, it's very hard to do this in golf I think, but I felt like I was ready a week‑‑ a week out from Thursday, and I was just kind of ticking days off, floating around here last weekend and early in the week, just trying not to mess myself up, really (smiling).

Q. Obviously fans watching, golf writers, crave this kind of a leaderboard with all this kind of quality at the top. As a player, how do you look at it; similarly?
ADAM SCOTT: As a golf fan, I like it. As a player, I'd rather be like six in front or something.
But it's great. Look, at the end of the day, I'm tied for the lead in the Masters. You can't ask to be in a better position. I don't really mind who's there. I believe I've got the game to match it with everyone these days, and you know, it's always a knife edge on who comes out on top of these things.
The last major that was there, I felt like I had the momentum with four holes to go, and then Brooks hits an unbelievable shot on 16 from 250 yards, and flips it right around. You know, it's such a fine line at the top, and I'm sure when it's packed like this, it's going to be a great break and a couple great swings will make all the difference for someone over this weekend.

Q. Are you at all surprised that none of those guys who sort of made a charge late yesterday were able to pull away this morning? And has the setup the first two days, maybe to offset soft conditions, maybe been part of why nobody has been able to kind of get clear?
ADAM SCOTT: I think so. I think the setup was‑‑ certainly yesterday was a little different than we've ever seen before. But the front nine seems to be playing maybe‑‑ it looks like it's giving up less birdies. I don't know if that's accurate or not, but I haven't seen anybody torch the front nine in 4‑ or 5‑under. Not that it's that easy to do that normally, but it's certainly playing difficult.
You know, maybe they have used a couple of the tougher pins on most of the holes for the first two days, and that's kind of‑‑ we've seen the back nine play how it does, and that's kind of where everyone's made their scores.
Like I said before, if someone gets off to a hot start on that front nine, there's a really great score out there with these softer conditions.

Q. What do you think about over the next two days as you sort of are tied at the top of the leaderboard? How do you switch off right now and keep going, and not just be satisfied, tied for the lead through 36 holes?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, look, tomorrow is a very important day, because there's no doubt someone in this Top 15, or a few of them, are going to play very well. This is the best players in the world on the biggest stage that we all want to be in so badly.
So tomorrow is about getting really focused and keeping it all together, and just pushing along. I don't think conditions are going to firm up or get crazy different, it doesn't look like. Keep kind of doing the things I've been doing well and hang in there with whatever happens tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Adam, well done on a great round today and best wishes for tomorrow.

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