January 5, 2021
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Plantation Course at Kapalua
LAURA VESCOVI: I'd like to welcome Adam Scott to the virtual interview room. Adam, thank you for joining us and welcome back to the Sentry Tournament of Champions. This is your first time back since 2014 when you finished T-6 and you've also got a runner-up finish in 2004. So just talk us through your excitement to be back and how special this event is.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's nice to be back. It has been an event I've loved coming to for so many years. But then for awhile it was a tricky one to get back to and every time I missed it, I regretted it, but it was off the back of playing in Australia and it being the first week of the year made it a very short holiday season for me.
So once I won in Genesis last year, though, it was definitely a priority for me to put this event on the schedule. It's a great way to start the year. Even under these circumstances it's nice to be here. And for me, at this moment, I need to kind of start putting some good results on the board and get my FedExCup campaign going a bit.
LAURA VESCOVI: Before we get started with questions, can you talk us through what you did over the holiday break? Anything special.
ADAM SCOTT: It was a lot of family time, but busy with kids at the moment, and I tried to enjoy that as much as I can, tested my patience, so that's ready for this season, if nothing else.
And I obviously tried to do some work on my game and get myself prepared to come out for the next six or seven months of this season and try and get some results on the board.
LAURA VESCOVI: We'll go ahead and open up to questions.
Q. Just quick question about the break. What was the most memorable gift given or received over the Christmas break for you?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, Santa redeemed himself this year for our kids because he didn't deliver the right gift last year. That was very important this year that he brought the right gift and he did that. So that was pleasing for everyone in our household this Christmas.
Q. Was there a miscommunication somehow? Santa got bad intel?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I just, I think Santa just didn't realize how much that gift was really wanted last year and we've got to take the kids word for it from now on.
Q. Happy New Year. Good to see you. How are you feeling? Obviously the end of last year was a bit of a rough one for you.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I feel fine.
Q. No impact from COVID? That sort of is what I'm alluding to.
ADAM SCOTT: Oh, no. Look, I had a very mild doze of COVID so it didn't really affect me in any way, other than it knocked me off TOUR for a couple weeks where I wasn't allowed to play. So I haven't had any kind of lingering affects from that at all, which is good.
Q. You talk about this, being in Kapalua for the first time since 2014. Obviously you played in the Australian summers then. No tournament, no golf, how do you feel? Refreshed, a lot of training, ready to get into it?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I've had a good break. I mean, I think that last season wasn't really a season for me. It was a lot of time away from the TOUR and routines changed and couldn't be put back in place, just logistics were too difficult to do it, so kind of had to reassess over, since the Masters and figure out a way to kind of tackle this season because it looks like it's under similar circumstances, and trying to put a good plan in place to get myself in the mix of tournaments.
So I played okay at the end of last year, but not up to what, the standard I want to play if I'm out here doing it. So trying to do a little bit better job of that from this point on.
Q. How are you feeling? Do you feel like you're in a good space or is it a bit of an unknown?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I actually feel -- yeah, my game, swing-wise and technique-wise, feels like it's really come along nicely in practice. That's all I've been able to do for the last few weeks. So it's feeling really good. It's nice to get out now this week and kind of put it to the test.
And obviously I'm looking ahead to the spring and THE PLAYERS Championship and then the Masters soon after that as target events to be kind of peaked, peaking for. But I feel there's no reason why I can't get myself in the mix these next few weeks as well.
Q. Couple things: Did you renew with Titleist during the off-season?
ADAM SCOTT: Yes, I did.
Q. Did they lose the stitching on the hat or is that something different?
ADAM SCOTT: Oh, well (laughing.) Yeah, no, I mean, it's a small change, obviously, to my appearance, but still playing all Titleist equipment. Nothing's changed there at all except the hat position.
Q. Have you experimented with any longer shafts in the driver?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I did start playing a longer shaft at Houston last year, at 46, but that's kind of where I've left it for moment. I hadn't really even tamed a 46-inch shaft, so I need to get a bit better at that before we go longer. But I think it's in a good spot.
It's been interesting, obviously, there's a lot happening with equipment and speed and things like this out here on TOUR, a lot of talk about it, and it's been interesting to just experiment a little bit with it and not have to change too much to make some gains. So that's been positive for me with the new Titleist driver, and I switched to the new ball at the end of last year and that's still looking good.
Q. Lastly, I wanted to ask you about the tournament itself. The fact that we have 16 people here who didn't win, at the Tournament of Champions, are you okay with that as long as you're playing?
ADAM SCOTT: (Laughing.) Yeah. Yeah.
Q. Try not to elaborate on that one.
ADAM SCOTT: No, I mean -- I don't know. Yeah, it's what it is. I don't know what to say about that. (Laughing.)
Q. There was some images of you putting on social media this week that showed you with a short putter. Is that just your typical practice method or have you made a switch?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I have the arm lock putter here this week, so it might have looked like a short putter, but it was an arm lock style, and I putted like that a couple years ago. It's just kind of what I like on this type of green here this week and, quite grainy, quite slow, a lot of slope, and can be a lot of wind around as well and the long one, I feel like I've battled with a little bit out there in the past.
Q. You mentioned already the Masters and this is calling it the super season, also includes the Olympics and right now you're No. 21 in the top-ranked Australian. I know in the past you've been not that excited about the Olympics, but have you changed your thoughts at all on that? Would you consider playing this year?
ADAM SCOTT: I would consider playing. It's still not my priority for the year. That's for sure. But I wouldn't rule it out because you can never really say never, but it will certainly be something I'll look at. Who knows where we are in the summertime.
Q. I mentioned you being No. 21 in the world. It wasn't that long ago you were No. 1. How big a difference do you feel in your game between when you were No. 1 and where you are these days?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think where my game was is, as the TOUR shut down at the end of last year, was really very close to No. 1. I think it shut down and I was No. 6 and I just never played that good when we came back. The situation was somewhat difficult for me to operate in the same fashion that I was with international travel and coaches living internationally and things like that made it very difficult to even see people.
So I fell, fell off the ball a little bit and the ranking has just slipped down, but I feel like, hopefully I've addressed those difficulties and have a good plan in place to kind of move back up. I feel like the work I've done recently is really good, so I'm eager to see it kind of get a result for me the next few weeks on TOUR and start moving in the right direction before the big stuff in the spring.
Q. I just want to get your, the mark that you sort of give yourself out of 10 for the three majors last year and how that will influence the way that you approach the majors coming this year.
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know. Yeah, I mean, five? I made the cut. (Laughing.) That's about it. Yeah, I mean, the preparation just wasn't ideal, obviously for any of them, to be honest, due to planning at the Masters, because I started feeling like things, I was getting a bit of momentum going, but then, obviously, getting COVID kind of set my preparations back and didn't quite get it going, even though I had a good start.
But I have to figure out a way to get it done. Even under these difficult circumstances, if I'm going to come out and play I want to come out and contend and not just make up numbers, otherwise I would rather not play.
Q. To follow that up, as you sort of look at the schedule this year and the way that you'll approach the majors, THE PLAYERS, and everything, what are the biggest challenges for you with everything going on?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, getting time to see my coach outside of a TOUR event, and training and treatment and things like that. If you're not based in the same place at the moment, it's very, very difficult to actually get together. So the U.K.'s just locked down again. My coach lives there. I know other guys have that too, but it is challenging at the moment. So just trying to manage things a little bit better.
Q. I joined a tiny bit late. I hope I'm not repeating anything. If I am. Please, I apologize, please accept that.
But I'm just wondering what's it like to be back here seven years later and what are your impressions of the golf course now as compared to 2014?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it's great to be back. It's always an event that when you miss it, I kind of regret not coming when I've qualified. It's such a fun week, fun golf course to play, and obviously to be here as a tournament winner is a good feeling. So nice to be back.
Generally my feeling is the course is in the best shape I've ever seen it, by far. I can see they have done some work on the golf course and it seems to have all kind of come together very nicely. The condition of the golf course is fantastic. The few small alterations they have made are very good and fit in well, and I'm incredibly impressed with the standard of the golf course.
Q. Obviously last year's scheduling and preparation you mentioned was completely different than it's ever been. Was there any positives for you that you took out of that sort of really hectic year that you're going to use for your scheduling and your planning and preparation this year? Is it going to be much different than years before or is it just sort of a wait-and-see approach for you?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, you kind of have to have a plan, but not everything is up to me, determined by me. Things are changing. Even just getting here to Hawaii, the parameters changed like three times in the weeks leading up to coming to Hawaii.
So have to be a bit flexible, but I think you've just really got to be on top of things at all the time so nothing kind of, nothing falls off the pace in any area of your game or in what you need to do to be at the top because there might not be that opportunity to work to get it back. It might just be difficult circumstances.
So I'm trying to just stay on top of everything and also be a little flexible with my attitude as well and not get annoyed when things are a bit more difficult and just take it for what it is.
Q. And then obviously with that big stretch you had back home in Queensland last year, how valuable was that to you now, given it might be awhile before you're able to get back home again?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was great. That was the positive, if you want to write with about a positive. I got to spend three months at home. That was fantastic. Looking back on last year, probably the highlight of the year. So it might be, really, until the end of this year before I do get back home, hopefully, and that's a long time away, because I enjoy my trips back home. But it is what it is and like I said a little earlier, if I'm out here playing, I want to make the most of it, who knows, my time is becoming less and less, that's for sure, all these good young players, so I would like to contend a little more and win a little more before my time's up.
Q. Dustin Johnson had just a, one of the great years last season. How would you describe it? Where does it rank amongst some of the ones you've witnessed?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it's right up there. It was -- maybe I'm wrong, but it was really, from when he came back to play in June when the TOUR went back to golf, he was phenomenal. And of recent times, I compare it to, like, Jason Day in 2015, but maybe a bit better. And Rory in 2014 had a good run. It was five or six months of incredibly good golf. It's not that easy to do that. I only can list a couple, and of course then I can think of Tiger doing it for about 12 years, so it's pretty phenomenal and it's horrible to compare people to Tiger because no one can live up to it, but he played at that kind of Tiger standard for the last five months.
Q. If you could take one thing from his game, what would it be?
ADAM SCOTT: Can I take more than one? Probably, I think his attitude is just so good, so conducive to good scoring. And there's way more that goes into it than we see, but he's got such an easygoing attitude on the golf course, but I think that's just confidence because he's done all the work and he knows it's going to be a good result.
Q. Just wondering, because it's been so long since you've played at this event, but do you get out to do much surfing as a surfing fan? And what do you sort of do to take full advantage of this tournament as where it is in Hawaii?
ADAM SCOTT: I have in the past, I've surfed a lot here and there is, hopefully, some waves coming this afternoon, so I might go for a quick paddle before the day's up. Good preparation, I think. (Laughing.)
Q. Is that why you moved the press conference?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. (Laughing.) Didn't get you out of bed too early, did I?
Q. No, no.
ADAM SCOTT: No. I thought of that when I moved it earlier. No, yeah, look, if there's some fun waves to be had, then for sure I'll go out there. It's always good getting in the ocean, recharge, and may as well take advantage of it while it's here.
LAURA VESCOVI: All right, Adam, thank you for joining us today, we appreciate your time, good luck this week.
ADAM SCOTT: Thank you all. Thanks. Cheers.
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