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March 24, 2006

Adam Scott


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Past champion Adam Scott, thank you for joining us here in the media center at THE PLAYERS Championship, rounds of 70 and 67, off to a good start, and great opportunity heading into the weekend. If we could start with some opening comments.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was a good round today, finished off strong with a couple birdies on 8 and 9. They were kind of a bonus.

But I think 7 under through two rounds here is in good shape no matter what the lead is. You know, it's just nice to be around going into the weekend.

Q. There's a little bit of a learning curve on this course, but once somebody assumes that they've mastered that learning curve and won here such as you, does it then become a matter of coming back to situations at a place you're comfortable because you played well here last year and now you're doing it again this year?

ADAM SCOTT: I think so. I think you've got to learn a little bit out here. I think no matter what happens, wherever you win, you feel more comfortable on this course. You know how all the good shots are hit and the spots to hit it in. I certainly play off that experience of winning out here.

But I feel very comfortable playing this golf course. A lot of the shots set up well for my natural shape out here.

Q. Did you find something in your swing overnight or just wake up on the right side of the bed?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, the swing was a bit better today. It wasn't 100 percent, it wasn't where I feel like I've been in practice or even last week at Bay Hill. But I think my short game has been pretty solid for two days, and my putting today was very nice. I made some nice putts and some key saves. You know, I think that's even better than hitting it good; as long as that short game is sharp you can always be around the place.

Q. Do you just have a good read on these greens or does the stroke feel good?

ADAM SCOTT: I bit of both. I read them pretty well today, and I think my stroke was good today. You know, just trying not to think about the stroke at all and just look at the hole and go.

Q. On the weekend, given the same conditions for everybody, would you like to see this place have wind blow or would you rather have it dead calm? What would best suit you to try to beat this field?

ADAM SCOTT: You know, I don't think I'd want gale force winds, but if it was like today with a bit of breeze, I don't know, maybe 10 is it now? I think that would find the best golfer over the weekend, just a bit of breeze. When it's blowing a gale, there's a lot of luck involved. If it was dead calm, then I don't know if I'm hitting it close enough to run away with the guys who will make a lot of birdies.

But if it plays tough over the weekend, I'd like to see that.

Q. When you've won here a couple years ago, everybody kind of assumed that you were going to drive up to Augusta and challenge there immediately and sort of be in the final groups of a lot of majors on Sundays. Did you have that same kind of expectation of yourself, that you had arrived at that level, and have you been disappointed in those majors the last few years you weren't?

ADAM SCOTT: Well, I have to say, I think I've played better in the majors this last year. I know I missed the cut at Augusta after winning here. But I've certainly played a little better in the majors. I think I play too defensive in the majors, and that's something I'm going to try to change this year. Last year I was around the place and played poorly every weekend. That was disappointing, but still, I was there for four rounds of golf every week. No, you know, I don't think I thought I had arrived and was going to win every week. I know that there's tough competition and you have your good weeks and your bad weeks, but I certainly think I'm a better player again now than I was two years ago. So hopefully this year my performance in the big tournaments will show that.

Q. Do you bounce back quickly from situations like the way you missed the cut at Bay Hill? Do you put those situations out of your mind and move on pretty well?

ADAM SCOTT: A couple of days later I think I move on. I was pretty mad at myself for missing that cut. I haven't missed a cut in over a year, and I shouldn't have missed that one. I was playing great and shot 5 over my last five holes, so I was pretty disappointed about that.

You know, a few hours on the range, punishing myself, and work in the gym punishing myself, and I got over it. This Thursday couldn't come quick enough.

Q. How hard is it to really get a handle on this course even when there's just a little bit of breeze blowing? What I mean by that, just trying to avoid the ball that maybe kicks into the rough or something like that, where the course just seems like it's very tough for this course not to bite you when the winds are like this.

ADAM SCOTT: When the wind is blowing it's hard to keep it out of the rough because the other side of the fairway you're trying to keep it out of the water. So to hit it in the fairway you've really got to hit a good, solid drive. It's got to be struck well, and when you're getting through it like that, you know, there's a chance it can get off line a little bit. It is one of those courses where ball striking I think is at a premium.

Q. Did conditions get significantly harder later in the round?

ADAM SCOTT: No, I think on the front nine we were more exposed to the wind. I certainly warmed up a lot on my last nine holes, which made it a bit nicer to play in. But I don't know why, but we really weren't exposed too much to the wind on the back nine. I don't know if it picked up or dropped, but I think it was it played the same all day.

Q. Is 16 getting too easy, or do you guys need that break after 14 and 15 and before 17 and 18?

ADAM SCOTT: There's no hole that's too easy, that's for sure. It is playing short the way we're hitting the ball these days. I hit 3 wood, 8 iron today. I mean, that's a par 4 hole, really. It's not too easy, but it's certainly a very short par 5.

Q. Do you think it could stand to be can you make it tougher and still make it reachable, still be a good risk reward?

ADAM SCOTT: Right. I think as long as you still get the same amount of guys going for it, you could change it, lengthen it, do whatever they need to do. But it's such a great finish here at this golf course, so exciting, that you need guys going for it. You need a lot of guys having a go because that's where the excitement is.

Q. You mentioned playing defensive in majors versus playing more aggressive here. What is it about the majors, the situation, the course, the atmosphere, history? Why would you be more defensive there as opposed to here?

ADAM SCOTT: Because at the majors the penalty for a mistake is so extreme; miss it in the wrong spot and you can spend all day chipping around the green. You just can't get it on the green. That's why I think I've been too defensive in the past, putting too much emphasis on the wrong spot to be.

Q. When you're a guy ranked Top 10 in the world there's no question about whether you have the game to win a major, but could you talk about the trial and error that you have to go through in terms of figuring out how to get your game to peak at those times?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I'm not really sure what it is, obviously. I just kind of play it by ear, whether I'm going to play the week before or not, whether I'm playing well or whether I take a week off. It's one of those things I think you just have to feel a little more comfortable, and I think I'm getting to that point, just playing more rounds in the majors. I've made the last six or seven cuts, I think, at majors, so I've got a lot of rounds under my belt, and I think it's time to take a chance and play more aggressive and play the course like it's any other course. You know, I might make a lot of bogeys, but you've got to make some birdies to win them, I know that.

Q. Is that the main thing in terms of your key to approaching them this year, taking some chances?

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, calculated. I'm not going to play stupid, but I'm going to go for shots a little more, believe in myself, and if I think that's the shot to play, I'm going to hit it. If it comes off, it comes off, and hopefully take advantage of it.

Q. I think it was Butch a couple years ago used the word meaner, that you needed to be a little bit meaner or something. I don't know exactly what he meant by that. But have you figured out what he meant, and are you different than you were in terms of personality or being harder on yourself or whatever it is?

ADAM SCOTT: I don't know, I think I'm a pretty tough competitor on the course. I certainly don't shy away from the competition. I think Butch was being a little tougher on myself out there to not make weak bogeys and slide away out of contention.

But I think I've got a good taste of the competition since then and certainly found out what it's all about.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Six birdies and one bogey. If we could touch on those. You started on No. 10 today, first birdie came on par 5, 11.

ADAM SCOTT: Driver and 2 iron and up and down out of the bunker, six foot putt.

Only bogey of the day on 14, driver, 8 iron and three putts from 70 feet.

Came back with a birdie on 16, par 5, 3 wood, 8 iron and two putts.

Front side, No. 2, 3 wood, 3 iron and two putts from 60 feet.

No. 4, 3 wood, lob wedge.

8, 4 iron.

9, driver, 3 wood and a little pitch onto the green and a putt.

Q. We hear you might be ready to trim the locks. Any truth to that?

ADAM SCOTT: I almost made it through this whole conference in here without that question (laughter). Yes, I'm pretty much ready to trim them. Don't be surprised if I come out with shorter hair sometime soon here.

Q. Not this week, though.

ADAM SCOTT: Maybe tomorrow, yes.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Adam Scott, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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