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February 8, 2006

Adam Scott


CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: We have Adam Scott, defending champion of the Johnnie Walker Classic. Adam, I'm sure you must be quite pleased to be defending your title on home soil this week. Tell us what you're feeling.

ADAM SCOTT: It's nice to be able to play back in Australia this week and defending my title here. Coming back the Vines is going to be interesting here, and we've got a new nine holes to deal with. The course is in great shape. It's firmed up today in the Pro Am from yesterday. And I think with the way the weather forecast is, we're going to see a pretty fiery course. I think we're in for a great week with a great field.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You've played one event so far this year, tell us how your game is so far coming into the week.

ADAM SCOTT: Actually it's pretty good. I played quite nicely in Hawaii, a bit rusty but I was pretty happy with how I played over there. I've had three weeks since then to work on it. I've played a lot at home in those three weeks. I've done a bit of practice but played a lot, and I feel pretty good. I spent a lot of time working on my short game and my swing was feeling really comfortable at the moment, much more so than the end of last year.

Q. With your main focus be on the majors this year?

ADAM SCOTT: Well, yeah, it is and it isn't. I still would like to perform well in every other tournament, as well. But certainly I think for me to break through in a major is the next step and I have to get myself in the best possible shape to play Augusta and then think about the rest.

I'm pretty well rested. That's kind of how I've approached going to Augusta is being well rested. From here I'll play probably five more events before Augusta. So going in pretty fresh and hopefully with some form.

Q. Is Augusta your best chance of winning a major, or which one do you think gives you the best chance?

ADAM SCOTT: I don't know. Yes and no. I think my short game really needs to be on at Augusta to win. I think that's just a given. You have to be fantastic around the greens and very demanding on the chipping and pitching. But certainly if I'm playing well, I think I have a good chance at Augusta.

But I like all of the other venues, as well. I think the Open is an interesting one. No one has been there and it's just really a lot of creativity and a bit of luck to go your way with a few good bounces, and you never know what can happen.

I kind of have a soft spot for Augusta and I think I'd like to be the first Australian to win The Masters. That's good that it sets up well for me.

Q. Do you feel any pressure defending your title this week?

ADAM SCOTT: No more pressure than any other tournament, really. I expect myself to play well and I generally have in defending my title. I've never defended one yet but it would be a nice one to defend this week, especially to give me my first win in Australia.

Q. Do you enjoy the course and how have you done at the Vines in the past?

ADAM SCOTT: I don't remember that much of the course actually, but I played the front yesterday and I played the Pro Am this morning, so I got to see the whole lot. I like it. I think there's only one hole I don't like, and that's the fifth hole; I think that's a bit mickey mouse. But the rest of it is really good. They have set it up well and it's in great shape, and the greens were getting pretty fast out there today.

So, you know, I think we're going to need some precision play over the weekend.

Q. With the way you've performed in Australia so far, has it frustrated you at all that you've not won here yet?

ADAM SCOTT: It's a little frustrating but I don't think I had my A Game here at the end of last year and certainly Robert (Allenby) did. When Robert is playing on his A Game, he's as good as anyone in the world. So you know it was going to be tough to beat him, especially not playing my best.

Hopefully this week I feel I'm playing better than I was at the end of last year, that's for sure.

Q. The time that you spend at home working on your game, have you been communicating with Butch (Harmon)? Do you do anything by e mail?

ADAM SCOTT: Not really e mail, video over the e mail. I just call him up and tell him what I'm working on and if he can suggest the right kind of stuff. He got to see me swing in Hawaii on TV and he felt it looked pretty good. Plus I've also got Tony (Navarro) that can keep a pretty good eye on things.

I think I'm on the right track with it. It feels good.

Q. Do you feel it works well for you to play in Europe and the US or do you feel you should be focusing more in the US now?

ADAM SCOTT: I think last year I focused mostly on the U.S. Tour. I played my minimum 11 in Europe, which really isn't that many in Europe because of all of the sanctioned events. And I'll do the same again this year.

I'll keep my membership there, but really I'm only playing a couple of events in Europe. The focus is on the U.S., just because I feel like you want to play the strongest fields every week and that's how you're going to get better.

Most weeks out of the year, that's in America, but there are also weeks like Dubai last week where you have to say that was the strongest field going. So that's kind of how I do my schedule on whether I like the course and the strength of the field.

Q. When you look back at second shot on the 18th at THE PLAYERS, what do you take away from that?

ADAM SCOTT: Just a bad shot at a critical time. I think I don't really dwell upon it at all because it doesn't matter in the end. I got it up and down and I won. I think the other way, if I miss the putt or I lost some other way, if I lost in a playoff, you know, it certainly would be hard to deal with and I'd think about it a lot.

I don't really think about it that much. It's one of those things that happened, and I don't know why it happened. Really didn't feel like that bad of a shot, just came out a long way left of where I was planning on. That's all I remember really.

You know, what I take out of it is the fact that I have the mental strength to walk up there and hit a pretty good chip and roll in a nice putt and win the tournament.

Q. You talk about Robert Allenby being as good as anyone in the world when he's on his A Game, who else here in the field do you think has a chance this week?

ADAM SCOTT: Retief, I think Retief, he's the No. 4 golfer in the world or maybe he's No. 3; Retief. And I think this course will suit Fred Couples. I don't know what he's been up to this year so far, whether he's been playing at all or not. I played a bit with him at the end of last year and he's striking the ball really nicely. And obviously he played well at the Presidents Cup. You know, you get the usual suspects: Monty, he seems to play pretty well every week; and obviously Cambo, if he's playing well, we know he's got the game to win a major.

So there's certainly a strong field here and I think Robert or myself or anyone really has to be playing well because I'm sure someone else will.

I'm expecting a pretty good score, a pretty low score to win around here, provided the conditions.

Q. Any particular reason that you play so well when you have a lead on the final day?

ADAM SCOTT: I feel pretty comfortable playing in front. I thought about it a fair bit lately. I don't know what it is. I think maybe when I'm leading the tournament, I feel like I'm playing well and I just run with it. I like to be in front and kind of control the rest of the field maybe. That's how I think about it. You know, I can push myself further ahead which makes them have to do more work.

But I'd like to change that a bit, and also it would be good to putt in some low rounds on Sunday and maybe snag a couple out of nowhere would be nice, also. I look back at the Australian Open, the 68, although it was difficult on Sunday, would have had me in a playoff and at the start of the day I really wasn't a factor.

Just maybe turning it around a little bit like that would be something I could try and do. Maybe it's a mental thing, I'm not so sure, but just putting together something low on Sunday to get me back in it because you never know what's going to happen.

Q. Is that a result of looking at your final round average?

ADAM SCOTT: No, I think last year my last round average wasn't so good. But normally I'm not too bad.

I don't know, I just really haven't got it going when I've had a chance on Sunday coming from behind. It seems when I'm out in front, maybe I think I'm playing better than them. I don't know what it is. I certainly like playing in front.

Q. Do you look at your stats personally?

ADAM SCOTT: Not at all. I think they are totally irrelevant because none of them are accurate. I don't bother. I kind of feel like I know what I'm doing well and not hitting well. You can hit a great drive and it can roll a foot in the rough and that's a missed fairway. You can get four of them in a round and you're driving the ball badly according to the stats.

Q. You're playing with Nick Dougherty tomorrow.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I haven't played with Nick for a while, and he's playing really good. He's started The European Tour season well and I haven't played with him for a while. You know, it will be nice to get out there and see how he's doing. Obviously his game is improving a lot. So I'm sure he's expecting a lot out of himself, too, getting off to such a good start this year.

Q. It sounds as if you've been working on your ball striking since the end of last year in Australia.

ADAM SCOTT: I changed my backswing a little bit, a little straighter off the ball, rather than sometimes I got a little outside and the club would then have to travel back inside. So it's a bit straighter off the ball and then more straight down the line at the top rather than being a little laid off. I feel from there that I can draw the ball a lot better.

Q. Did you pick that our yourself or from Butch?

ADAM SCOTT: It was a bit of both. You know, I saw it and I said to Butch, "What do you think about this?" He thought it was a good idea. I did, it also, actually with Augusta in mind a little bit because I think if you can just hit a natural draw around there, I think that's an easier way to play the golf course rather than fighting with a draw.

Hopefully it will be well ingrained by then.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Thanks, Adam, for coming in and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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