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January 5, 2007
TODD BUDNICK: We welcome Adam Scott to the Mercedes-Benz Championship, winner of The TOUR Championship. If we could get some thoughts on starting the year.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, last year ended up being a good year, I think winning.
The TOUR Championship meant a lot and capped off what was a good year. I think if I hadn't won an event last year, it would have been very disappointing. But it all came together at the end, and it just happened that I needed to put four rounds together and that's probably what I didn't do earlier in the year even though I had some good results, so it was a nice way to end the year but I want to carry that over into this year.
TODD BUDNICK: First event of the year, we like to hear what you've done in the off-season and what you're looking forward to in 2007.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I played two events in Australia and then Tiger's event. And since I played poorly at Tiger's event I decided to play straight through and come here in good shape. I've hit a lot of balls and did some technical stuff on the swing and drills and tried to get the swing back on track and it's getting there. It's getting there, it's not easy to keep trusting it in the wind out here, but I felt like it was a good decision to do that.
TODD BUDNICK: Outlook for '07, goals, anything?
ADAM SCOTT: Really to win more events approximately it will it would be nice to get a win up early in the year and try and run with it, rather than wait for so long but just keep winning events, that's the goal.
Q. Adam, the first question is Geoff was just in here and he won a U.S. Open last year, and you were No. 4 in the world and you've won The TOUR Championship. You've been somewhat hard on yourself about where you belong in the pecking order. Do you think you should be No. 4?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think I play good enough. I think I was the 4th-best player last year. I think my consistency proved that just from last year's results, but, yeah, I think I played very well last year, overall.
Q. Do you feel like the No. 4 player right now?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I haven't struck the ball like the No. 4 player in the world should, but, you know, I think once I get out there Thursday and get into the swing of things, I'll be fine.
Q. Where were you working from Target?
ADAM SCOTT: I went home to Australia and just practiced at Century Golf.
Q. Have you had any -- have you come closer to establishing any type of residence in the United States or sticking with London?
ADAM SCOTT: No. Switzerland is my residence.
Q. At the Target you got the advanced start, and by Sunday, you seemed to pick it up a little bit.
ADAM SCOTT: No. I played terribly all week and I don't know how I managed to shoot a good score on the weekend. It was -- it was the end of the year and I think my mind had gone on holidays. I don't know what was going on over there. (Laughter.) At least I didn't embarrass myself over the weekend.
Q. Geoff said he noticed an upswing in attendance and buzz and atmosphere when he was playing the Australian; did you feel that way?
ADAM SCOTT: Definitely the Australian Open, they promoted it and got a bit the more hype, which was great and I think they a great showing, good atmosphere.
Q. Do you see that tour on the rise after having some economic issues there for a while?
ADAM SCOTT: I still think there are issues there, but I think everyone is positive and it was a great start. Everyone was in such a negative frame of mind that I think it's hard to get -- I think it's all turned around when we were all so negative.
But I think that has had an impact on how the event went this year.
Q. He also said some of the folks down there are just starting to realize you guys are actually pretty good.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think there was a bit of a false image of us, that we were Australians, and that was it. But I think they're starting to realize that we have some of the best players in the world and they're appreciating our games and, you know, I think it's being taken more seriously now.
Q. Adam, given that you're trying to get your swing back on track, did you have any slight concerns about starting your year at a windy event.
ADAM SCOTT: I didn't think about it until yesterday when it was blowing hard, wasn't it? I mean, it's not ideal. I was starting to play better today on the last nine holes. So I think a good range session is all I need before tomorrow.
Q. Will you play any more events January through mid-September this year than last year?
ADAM SCOTT: More events?
Q. Or the same number?
ADAM SCOTT: I think so, probably, yeah.
Q. So the FedExCup won't make you -- won't encourage you to alter your schedule?
ADAM SCOTT: It's changed a little because the events have changed. But no, I don't think so, I've just got to get in the Playoffs, that's the main thing.
Q. Are you going to play 20 or so between now and September?
ADAM SCOTT: Probably not 20. 18 is about what I normally tend to play.
Q. That doesn't include the stuff in Europe or anything like that?
ADAM SCOTT: That doesn't include that, no.
Q. Do you play anything on the PGA TOUR after The TOUR Championship, or will you be done for the year.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah.
Q. What was the answer?
ADAM SCOTT: Done.
ADAM SCOTT: Home.
Q. The break that you took that one year after Firestone, I think you took a month or so --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah.
Q. That will be your big break October, November, December, and then --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think I have a couple of events to play -- I think Singapore Open is in November this year. So I'm going to go back and defend that, and then a couple in Australia I'll play. But from the middle of September through till November is probably time off.
Q. You're not playing the Presidents Cup this year?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I'll probably skip that.
Q. What was your thinking on the Sony Open, originally yes and then no?
ADAM SCOTT: Just haven't had a break, and it's time to take a break.
Q. So we shouldn't read any Michelle Wie stuff into this?
ADAM SCOTT: No. I have no -- nothing to say about that.
Q. So when will you come back?
ADAM SCOTT: Back at L.A.
Q. So you can take that long off, you go home? Home is Switzerland or Australia?
ADAM SCOTT: Both homes, Australia and in Europe.
Q. Would it change your mind if you found your swing and you were playing well; would it change your mind for Sony?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I don't think so. I need to take a break. I've been working hard and I wanted to play well here, get off to a good start and take my break and I'll keep working on it.
Q. Any other week you probably wouldn't be here, if it wasn't this week?
ADAM SCOTT: Probably not. I would have taken a break and started in San Diego or something like that.
Q. Have you done San Diego before?
ADAM SCOTT: No.
Q. Do you think that will change just to give yourself a look at it before the --
ADAM SCOTT: Probably be a good idea. (Laughter.) Yeah, it would be a good idea to go to San Diego this year, too, but it doesn't fall right for me.
Q. Geoff talked about the $10 million carrot at the end of the FedExCup. How important is that to you?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, $10 million gets your attention, certainly does. But, I mean, like always to win golf tournaments, my goal is, and if I win enough I'll win the FedExCup, so that takes care of that.
Q. Do you believe that? You could win five events between now and the PGA Championship and have a bad stretch over those four FedExCups and --
ADAM SCOTT: I was thinking of winning the four in the Playoffs.
Q. So when you think about that is your focus more toward those four? Over the year majors are important but --
ADAM SCOTT: I mean, I'm going to worry about the four majors, and then I'll worry about those Playoffs after the Majors are done. I figure if I play eight weeks, everything is going to be sweet.
Q. How many Opens did you qualify for before you turned pro?
ADAM SCOTT: Which Open?
ADAM SCOTT: I never tried to qualify before I turned pro.
Q. The major lineup this year is a complete -- completely new to you, I take it, or did you play the Open in '01 in Tulsa?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I didn't. I played Dunhill for five years. So I've got plenty of rounds up there and I've played Oakmont a couple of times, and I know what's coming in Tulsa, other than Tulsa.
Q. What was the occasion for Oakmont?
ADAM SCOTT: I played a charity round of golf there, and the other time I was just there having a game.
Q. There seems to be a debate between Oakmont or Winged Foot: Which is the toughest course on any given Saturday morning for the members. Can you draw any conclusion on your experience?
ADAM SCOTT: They're both pretty tough, but I'm -- not trying to outdo each, okay, or we're going to have a rough week. (Laughter.)
Q. What were you there last?
ADAM SCOTT: End of '04, and new tee boxes by then for the tournament, so I've seen them.
Q. There are even more trees downed since you were there.
ADAM SCOTT: More? Yeah, I know the trees are gone but the tee boxes are still --
Q. Right, the ones that are --
ADAM SCOTT: Quite bit back.
Q. Do you usually do Bay Hill?
ADAM SCOTT: I have in the past.
Q. It's going to a par 70 this year.
ADAM SCOTT: I didn't know that.
Q. Are you going there that year?
ADAM SCOTT: No, because I'm in Thailand the week before, Johnnie Walker.
Q. Is there anything that you added to your schedule that you normally wouldn't have done because of the schedule changes?
ADAM SCOTT: No.
Q. You usually play Chicago?
ADAM SCOTT: That's in the Playoffs now, isn't it?
Q. Did you play it in July.
ADAM SCOTT: I played it for the first time last year; I loved it. Normally I've been going back to Europe in the past in that stretch and playing over there, but I didn't this year.
Q. Where do you think you will tackle the bulk of your European schedule this year to get your numbers?
ADAM SCOTT: In between the U.S. and British Opens, I'll play in Europe. They have great events.
Q. What's that, the European Open and Irish--
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, BMW, European Open and French. So pick a couple of them and I'll be running, good events.
TODD BUDNICK: Anything else?
Q. Justin Rose won on The European Tour with the Aussie Masters. Since parting company with Leadbetter, have you seen any change in him out on the course?
ADAM SCOTT: I know Justin pretty well and I've talked to him a little bit about what he is working on, and I think it just took some time for him to trust his "new swing" or the changes he's made. It took him a while to trust it, but you could see the second half of the year he started trusting it and playing well and he couldn't put four rounds together, but he would have two low rounds every week and he couldn't quite finish it off.
And I saw the week before he won in Australia, I saw he had a 63 and 66 in Japan, and I thought, hey, here he goes again. So I told my friends to back him at the Australian Masters, and they got him $25 at the start of the week and they're all pretty happy.
Q. What was it tackling the swing and --
ADAM SCOTT: I think it was a bit of -- he was searching for the right technique for him. And then once you've -- once you've got it, you've got to believe it and trust it, and it's very hard to do that under any pressure or just out on the course, anyway, and he certainly, you know, got it that week, anyway.
So it was nice to see him get a win, because he'd been trying so hard. He's almost one of the guys that I think puts too much pressure on himself and tries too hard, and that can sometimes hurt you.
Q. You were talking about Justin and putting pressures on yourself and making changes; were you making any changes over the last month or just refining what you've been doing?
ADAM SCOTT: I just slipped into a bit of a bad habit at the Australian PGA and I didn't get it fixed up before Tiger's event.
So I spent four weeks -- four days swinging worse and worse and somehow it ingrained itself and it's taken me ten days of practice to get back on track.
Q. Unfortunately now that you've said there was something, could you explain what it was that you fell into?
ADAM SCOTT: My setup got -- my body angles came out of -- not square. So my hips were open, my feet were open, my shoulders were closed, and from there that can lead to, who knows what kind of swing. So it was more a matter of me squaring me body up and because I got swinging a bit funny from that other set-up positions. Now when I swing on the right line, it feels a bit uncomfortable.
Q. How much surfing this week; where? And are you any good?
ADAM SCOTT: I've surfed the last two days, and the waves have not been good and I am not good. (Laughter.)
Yeah, it's -- the waves haven't been that good, unfortunately, but that might be a good thing. More time to practice, less time for surfing.
Q. How long have you surfed?
ADAM SCOTT: I grew up at the beach but I stopped surfing, everything, when I was about 13 -- 11, 12, 13, and then I took it up about three years ago. I needed something else to do.
Q. Handicap in surfing would be a?
ADAM SCOTT: 10.
TODD BUDNICK: Will MacKenzie?
ADAM SCOTT: Will's a good surfer, he's about the same. He's good.
Q. Do you know much about his background? Ever talked to him?
ADAM SCOTT: A little bit.
Q. Amaze you at all?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it does. He reminded me the time he came out to work with Butch in Vegas six years ago, at least, and he came out and was taking lessons off of Claude and we went out for lunch somewhere at the clubhouse or something. And I bought him lunch and he said, "Oh, I never forget that you bought me lunch that day," and I'm like, okay, good. And he had to ask Butch if he could leave his car in the car park and sleep in the car that night because he couldn't afford a room, I had no idea about that, but it's a pretty cool story.
Q. Did he sleep in the car that night?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know that he slept in Butch's car park, but maybe somewhere else. He's fun to go surfing with. He cracks me up.
Q. What makes him fun?
ADAM SCOTT: He charges. He's got no fear. There is a reef under there, and I just saw him the other day go face-first off the top of the wave and I'm like, "oh, Will," and I was waiting for him to come up with a mouthful of teeth. He was fun. He's a fun guy making a racket out there, like, don't upset the locals. (Laughter.) He's awesome.
TODD BUDNICK: Thanks, Adam.
End of FastScripts