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December 13, 2006
THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA: Pre-Round
DAVE SENKO: Adam, thank you for joining us. Maybe before we get started with some questions, as the year winds down maybe you could just give us a quick maybe recap on your season and how you felt 2006 went for you.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, overall 2006 was I think a pretty successful year for me. It was a lot of good golf I played, and it was important to me to finish the year off with a win there in Atlanta. I think I played well enough to win some events but didn't get it done, so it was good to get across the line there.
You know, it's a nice way for me to start next year at Mercedes and hopefully in some good form.
Q. How much closer are you to winning a major after this year?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I don't know, it's kind of hard to answer that question. I feel like I'm a good enough player to win a major if I'm on my game that week. I really feel in the past it's been a case of I've not played well at majors.
The Open last year and the PGA were really the first two weeks I played nicely at a major. You know, that's a positive thing at least because that's part of the battle is trying to get your game in good shape for them. But I think I'm playing good enough that I can win a major if I'm in position.
Obviously it's about closing the deal. When that happens it's kind of unpredictable. But I feel my game is at a point where I can win a major.
Q. It's kind of a time of the year where people are testing equipment. Are you playing with anything, playing around with anything?
ADAM SCOTT: Titleist has a new driver and new golf ball coming, so I'm using the new golf ball this week for the first time, and the driver is going to remain testing for a little while longer yet.
Q. What's the difference?
ADAM SCOTT: There are quite of lot of differences in the driver. Really it's based around the driver I'm using now, other than I think they played around with the moment of inertia.
So apparently I'm going to hit it straighter, which is a good thing. But I drove it so well this year, it's hard to just put my driver down and pick up a new one and go right out with it.
Q. What do you have now?
ADAM SCOTT: I have the Titleist 905R, and I started using it in Hawaii at the start of this year.
Q. And what about the ball?
ADAM SCOTT: The ball is the same name but I believe it's got a different cover, and I believe that's the only difference with the ball. They don't really tell me that kind of stuff. They just ask if I like it or not.
Q. Getting back to the finishes at the PGA and the Open, in terms of did you find something do you think that maybe you were not doing that allowed you to play better at those two events than you had previously, or is it --
ADAM SCOTT: I mean, I actually played better at all the majors this year. I didn't finish great at The Masters or the U.S. Open, although the U.S. Open I had 3-over my last three to finish 20th or something. I was going quite well.
I think just believing in myself a little more was really all it was, staying aggressive and playing golf how I normally play golf. For some reason I kind of tightened up a little and played too sensitive in majors I thought, and that led to poor results, whereas this year I treated it just as any other tournament and I went out and played and tried to hit the shots that I saw and stayed aggressive and tried to make birdies.
Even though the winning scores aren't low, you're still going to have to make birdies to win.
Q. The FedEx Cup, is that going to alter the way you play your schedule? Will you play less at the start of the year gearing towards the end of the year, or have you thought about that?
ADAM SCOTT: The schedule is a bit different. I think I'll probably play a little less at the start. There's a lot of events to play in the last two months of the FedEx Cup, so I'm probably going to look quiet at the start and come home stronger.
Q. You were talking a little bit about the majors and feeling what it's like to maybe possibly be in contention. What is it that last four holes on the last day -- what kind of attributes does it take for a golfer to either shrug off the pressure or overcome the pressure, and are those kind of situations that can define careers?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's mostly a mental test at that point with four holes to go in a major. If you can just compose yourself and keep yourself under control, then you've got a big advantage because I think most everyone would be feeling the pressure at that point.
You know, it's just really up to you how you can deal with it and how you respond to it and how you play. Some guys play their best when they feel most nervous. Even though they feel nervous, they know how to control their emotions and get the job done, and it's definitely career-defining.
The last four holes, I mean, I hate to bring it up, but you look at a guy like Greg Norman or Colin Montgomerie, and they could be multiple, multiple major winners, and they just weren't for whatever reason. Some were bad breaks and some were bad shots, but it's definitely career-defining, a major.
Q. Is that something you're born with or something that you can learn?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it's a bit of both. I think you can be born with it, which is a nice gift to have, but I think you've got to work on it and learn about yourself. You can only figure it out once you're in that position, and the more you're in that position, the easier it gets, I believe.
Q. You had a lot of success early in your career. Was that overwhelming at all, and how much did it raise your expectations?
ADAM SCOTT: Early in my career as in like when?
Q. I believe your first win was at 23 and then the past couple years obviously you've done well. Has this been -- how much did it raise your expectations?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it didn't really raise them any. When I won in Boston, that was a great breakthrough win for me to get on the PGA TOUR, but I had won three or four tournaments in Europe previous to that, so I believed that I was a winner out here. It was just a matter of time for me to get my game right to come to America and play over here.
It didn't really raise my expectations. Maybe after winning THE PLAYERS in '04, I thought this could be a really great point to keep going and go win majors right away, but it didn't happen like that. I try and stay really realistic, have goals and expectations so I don't become disappointed. Yeah, maybe I was a little disappointed at the end of 2004 to look back after playing so well to win THE PLAYERS to not play that well in the majors.
Q. How do you keep yourself hungry? Is it easy to get complacent playing on the PGA TOUR with the rewards that are there for finishing in the top 10, top 15? Do you have to do something to keep yourself --
ADAM SCOTT: I think it depends on the person, but winning is I think the most important thing to me. This year I proved to myself that it was, even though I had a great year and played really consistent, I pushed myself hard the last three, four months of the season to get a win because I wouldn't have been happy finishing Top 10 on the Money List and having 11 Top 10s and not winning. I mean, that's not a successful year as far as I'm concerned.
A Top 10-ranked player in the world should be winning golf tournaments, so I was really happy to win in Atlanta.
But you've got to keep pushing yourself, and that was the attitude I had, keep staying intense and keep pushing yourself, don't be happy with finishing second and playing well week in, week out. You've got to win, and that's what we're all out here to do, I think.
Q. Who do you consider to be the best player in the world without a major championship to his name?
ADAM SCOTT: Without a major? Probably Sergio, I think. I say that because I think he's had some good chances in majors. You know, he could have had one or two or three maybe by now, but he hasn't. You know, and he may not have played that well this year, but I'm kind of overlooking that in saying I think he's probably the best player without a major.
Q. Just curious, since you guys were born in the same year and whatnot, when did you first meet Sergio and what kind of history, if any, did you guys have through the amateur ranks, both having turned pro so early?
ADAM SCOTT: I never actually met him as an amateur. Well, I was an amateur when I met him in Australia in a tournament, probably the year 2000, I think, and he was already a pro. I played a practice round with him down there. Yeah, we had no real history of amateur or junior.
I think it was all set up by the management company, IMG. They ran the tournament and obviously managed Sergio, so they set it up, which was good. So yeah, those seven years have gone by pretty quick actually.
Q. Maybe it's some sort of race, so, you know, the first guy to win a major is going to be the biggest young star. Do you see it that way at all?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it could be seen that way, sure. I think we both feel like we should be winning majors, absolutely. I don't think we're viewing it as a race to see who wins the first one because I hope to win more than one. Getting one is great, but I'm hoping to win more than one.
Yeah, he's definitely got a better record in majors than me, but I think it's just taken me a little bit more time to get comfortable in that position.
Q. I was just talking to Geoff Ogilvy about the great year for Australians, you winning and he winning and going back there. He said he's still an Australian football fan but he's learned that if you don't talk American football in the fall here, there's nothing to say. As a guy who briefly went to school here, and I just wonder what your response is to that.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, you know, our football team wasn't very inspirational. I don't know that we won a game while I was there. I haven't learnt American football that good, but I certainly am following it a little bit more now. I know what's going on. I know what's happening in the football world.
Yeah, UNLV, going there didn't help me much. I should have gone to Florida or somewhere else.
Q. Talking about the majors a little bit, except for Tiger, nobody since Larry Mize has won Augusta in their 20s. Any reason for that? Any theories on that?
ADAM SCOTT: Interesting. Yeah, I think it's a place that experience counts a lot for. I think just knowing the place backwards is important, especially the greens and pitching around the greens. You might find little spots that are just safe havens around the green. If you get in trouble you can get over there and have a good chance of getting it up-and-down. I guess it could be the course is a little intimidating, I guess, and when you're not that experienced there it can catch up with you.
You know, I think the expectations on younger guys certainly skyrocketed after Tiger came out and performed as well as he did, and I think also when Sergio was the next kind of young guy to come out and perform well. I mean, he performed fantastically his first year as a pro. So all expectations went up on the younger players and everyone kind of thought, well, these 20-year-olds are going to take over the TOUR.
I think the game catches up with everyone and experience counts for a lot more than most people think, I believe.
Q. Tiger was in here yesterday talking about the golf swing is kind of a continuing work in progress. Do you ever foresee yourself going through the kind of major overhaul on your golf swing that he did within the last couple years?
ADAM SCOTT: I hope not. I mean, that sounds like hard work (laughter). That sounds like hard work to me. It is -- I agree, it evolves. My swing is different now than it was five years ago and it was different when I was 15. The swing just kind of evolves.
I guess as your body changes and you get older, you can't go at it as hard, and at some point you've got to make a few adjustments. I really -- I don't know, I kind of see my swing being along the same lines hopefully. Partly you've got to learn it and then it just becomes instinct.
Q. As we all know it's been a great year on the PGA TOUR for Australian golf with you winning the TOUR Championship, Geoff winning the U.S. Open and a WGC event. Do you feel there's increased expectation by fans Down Under for you guys to kick on even more in 2007?
ADAM SCOTT: It's tough to say. I mean, I've been at home for the last month and played two events down there but didn't really get that feeling of expectation from them. I think probably from the players' point of view there's expectation that we're going to have another year like that and someone is going to win another major and do well. We've got some young guys coming off the Nationwide Tour that are great players and I expect them -- one of them to have a real impact here next year.
I think there's probably more expectation over this side of the pond rather than in Australia. I mean, it's kind of a little far away down there.
ADAM SCOTT: I think so. I think this year especially it's been reported a lot on the dominance of Australia, the fact that there are 25 of us out here every week, which is a considerable amount, and I don't think that really gets reported that much in Australia. I think us winning does get reported quite a lot down there, but expectations, well, yeah, maybe there are some expectations, but I think there's more expectation over here than back home.
DAVE SENKO: Thank you, Adam.
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