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May 8, 2007
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Adam Scott into the interview room. Adam, winner of the 2004 Players Championship, winner this year at the Shell Houston Open. Maybe talk a little bit about the state of your game at this point and we'll open it up for questions.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, my game is not in too bad a shape actually. I obviously played well at Houston and I was pretty happy with how I played at Augusta, just a testing week, and I made a couple mistakes and made a couple big numbers, so really, a little disappointing, but I was happy with the way I performed.
And last week was a little bit scratchy, but there was enough good stuff in there to make me feel confident about coming into this week.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Have you had a chance to look at the golf course and play it?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I played yesterday. It was blowing away. I think I said at Houston, I said I think we'll find it hard to play a better condition golf course, but I think that was something else yesterday. I think it's beautiful out there. The grass is tight, the greens are fantastic, and I think it's really changed the character of the course a lot.
And if the wind keeps blowing, it's going to be very difficult this week.
Q. Can you tell us how the course has changed physically as you move around the course and how that affects what you have to do to win?
ADAM SCOTT: I think just the firmness of the greens it seems is going to be the key this week, obviously. Coming in from the fairway is key because you need some spin on the ball to hold the greens. The way it was playing yesterday, you had to pitch it in the front third of the green to even keep it on the green. You really need to be controlling your shots, so shots out of the rough is going to be -- you know, it's going to be hard to control the flight and spin. It's really flier rough, and coming into firm greens, that can get quite interesting.
I think that's the real difference, whereas we saw it so soft the last few years. And even the rough was really long, but shots could -- the greens could take shots out of the rough, but I don't think they're going to this year.
Q. Tiger earlier today called No. 17 gimmicky, and he said he'd rather see it at another point in the course like the 8th hole and not the 71st hole of the whole tournament. What are your thoughts on that?
ADAM SCOTT: It is gimmicky, I'll agree with that. But I think it's part of this event, and it's one of the reasons why this event has become what it is.
I think the finishing holes here are probably the feature of the golf course, and you can't really get more exciting to watch a finish like this. Playing it is not that much fun (laughter), but to watch it is probably a lot of fun.
You know, it's a gimmick to have an island green like that, but it serves a purpose here, I think. I think it's still pretty fair. I mean, it's a big green.
Q. This golf course has never favored a particular style of player. You have like you and Funk winning in consecutive years is probably the best example of that. With firm and fast and dry and all that, does that still hold true, or has it even made it more of a wide-open thing now because short guys get more roll?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it should be wide open. I think if a course is set up well and it's a well-designed golf course, it shouldn't really favor anyone; it should be playable no matter who you are.
But I think what we're going to see this week if conditions stay good for us is the players who are playing best are going to be at the top. There's going to be no faking your way up to the top of this leaderboard.
Q. What tournaments can you fake your way to the top?
ADAM SCOTT: Anytime it's soft you can play bad and score pretty good. The ball won't run out of the fairway. If it's screaming down the right side or something it just plugs in the fairway and then you can plug it on the green. The ball never runs into any trouble.
Q. And if you're putting good --
ADAM SCOTT: And if you putt okay you can get it around.
So I think once it comes down to having to strike the ball well to get any spin on it to hold a green, that's when you see the guys who are playing best probably up at the top of the leaderboard.
Q. In the past some players would come here, and while they wanted to win the tournament, a lot of them said they were thinking about Augusta because it was two weeks following. Can you just talk about the fact that this has its own month now and its own chance to kind of showcase itself without Augusta being right around the corner?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it's a good thing. I think it's going to be -- I think the players are probably a bit more focused since Augusta on getting ready for this tournament than they have been in the past. It's obviously getting ready for this tournament with Augusta in their mind, also, and now it's just this tournament.
I think it's got a chance to become even bigger and maybe come into its own a little bit in this date. I think it's a good move.
Q. If you go back to No. 17 for a minute, the year you won when you came up there on Sunday, if you'd kind of go over your emotions and what that was like.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was -- I mean, I was very nervous, obviously. I was trying not to think too much about it. I mean, we had a short wait on 17, and I stood with my back to it, the green, and everything. I didn't really want to think about it more than I had to (laughter).
No, I actually hit a really good shot right where I was aiming. I was playing safe, but it just missed the hill to go down to that right side, so it stayed up there. But no, I mean, I was just looking to get it anywhere on that green and walk away with a 3.
Q. What did you hit, do you remember?
ADAM SCOTT: I hit a wedge.
Q. Some of the guys were saying that -- you're going to have to explain this one to me because the math to me doesn't add up -- that it might be more difficult to hit out of two and a half-inch Bermuda rough than out of four-inch rye. How can that be? It seems like it's this and this; it sounds contrary to me. Just because of the nature of the Bermudagrass being swirly and such.
ADAM SCOTT: It's pretty much a guaranteed flier out of the Bermuda rough so it's easy to pick a good club. Especially if it's windy, there are so many factors to make. Out of the rye, you pretty much know what it's going to do. You can tell if it's a flier or not out of the rye, but you know it's going to be hard work to get your club through and you can club accordingly for that. You just lose all control of the golf ball out of the Bermuda rough.
Q. It's less predictable?
ADAM SCOTT: Uh-huh, absolutely.
Q. Could you give me an idea of your opinion of the change in length on 8, 14, 11 and 16?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it's all good. 8, I don't know. I mean, it's a pretty long hole now. It's 237 or 227 or something. That's pretty long. I mean, I'm a big fan of short par 3s, so -- yeah, 237 is probably a little long, I think. But I'm not sure that it needed it on 8. But the other holes I think are very fair in what they've done.
Q. What will you hit from 8?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, yesterday I hit a 3-iron to the front edge, and the wind was slightly into. If it gets -- if the pin is back, we're reaching for lumber (laughter), and that's not much fun.
Q. Any sense they'll use it all four days or will they use it up some days?
ADAM SCOTT: I think they've got the option. Right on the back of the tee box they can put it there, but I think they've got some tee box to go forward.
Q. You almost can't see the green from that tee box.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, 240 is pretty far. I mean, we had 259 last week.
Q. Wait until you get to Oakmont.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, right.
Q. After your bid last year are you satisfied with how your year has gone so far this year?
ADAM SCOTT: To be honest, not really. But I've played on and off. I've had no real rhythm other than probably from Doral to now I've started to get back on my normal schedule. I'm happy that I won in Houston, but I really can't say much about the other results. It's been scrappy golf, but hopefully I get into a bit of a flow now through the rest of the year and especially through the summer where I can start putting those consistent performances back on like I was last year.
Q. Do you know much about Oakmont at all?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I've played there before.
Q. What about the 280-yard par 3?
ADAM SCOTT: See, I just think it's too long for a par 3. But when I was there, we were still on the other tee. They had them on the back one and I hit 3-wood the other day off the tee. I don't know, I mean, hopefully it's just an option (laughter).
Q. Which parts of your game do you need to sharpen up from last week to have a chance at winning this week?
ADAM SCOTT: A little bit of everything, really. I think a little work with Butch on the range this morning was good. I feel like my swing is back where it should be right now, striking a lot better.
But really, just getting used to the greens here I think is going to be the key thing. You know -- although they've softened a lot of the slopes on the greens, there are subtle changes and the grass is different, but it's a bit of getting used to spending some time of the putting greens and on the course.
Q. Did Butch find anything that was amiss?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I was just a little bit open with my body, everything aiming left. So we squared that up, felt much better.
Q. You say you like short par 3s. What's the best short par 3 you guys play?
ADAM SCOTT: The best short one we play? Well, on the TOUR? You know, 7th at Pebble Beach is a pretty good hole.
Q. Where does 12 at Augusta rank?
ADAM SCOTT: 12 at Augusta, yeah, that's pretty short. I mean, the 11th at Royal Melbourne is probably maybe the best one in the world, on the Composite Course at Royal Melbourne. That's only a wedge.
Q. Just curious what your reaction was when Phil went over to Butch, and did you get any guarantees that --
ADAM SCOTT: No, Butch called me and just asked me if I was all right with it, and I said, sure, I'm all right with it. I'm not in charge of Butch. That's the way Butch has always worked with us. Even when he worked with Tiger, they had a deal, and the deal was that if Tiger needed something, then that's why Butch never charged any of his other players, because he was with Tiger and he's never charged me ever, in the eight years we've worked together. So Butch can do what he wants to do.
Q. Butch still doesn't charge you?
ADAM SCOTT: No, just -- no, never charged me. It's amazing.
Q. What's his number?
ADAM SCOTT: (Laughing). But, you know, he called me up, which was a nice gesture, and I said, of course, if you want to do it, hope it works out for you.
He said to me, but this is certainly not going to encroach on any of our time. I said, well, thanks very much for the call. Good luck.
Q. That was actually my question. Butch has maintained that you're going to sort of remain his No. 1 pupil. Do you think that's going to hold?
ADAM SCOTT: Apparently I'm still No. 1 on the totem pole. You know, we'll see.
Q. Behind the Winn grips?
ADAM SCOTT: Winn grips and every other endorsement (laughter).
Q. Well, you're not paying him.
ADAM SCOTT: He's got to find it somewhere.
Q. Along those same lines, obviously it was a good gesture by Butch to make the call, but did you feel like you needed that kind of reassurance that you were at the top of his list?
ADAM SCOTT: Not really, no. Butch and I have a pretty close relationship. He's taught me since I was 19 years old, so we know each other pretty well, and we're very straightforward with each other. You know, if I had a problem, I would have let him know, but I really don't.
Phil came up to me last week and said thank you. I said, you don't have to thank me. It's nothing to do with me. I hope it works out for him, as long as Butch doesn't give away all his secrets (laughter).
Q. Is there one thing that Phil is really going to benefit from with Butch in your mind? What do you see?
ADAM SCOTT: I just think Butch has a unique way of -- the way he sees the golf swing and the way he communicates that back to the player. I haven't worked with a lot of coaches at all, so it's hard for me to really make a good call on that. But every play I've seen Butch work with, he has an ability to communicate what he wants the player to do, and the player can do that. And that's from me to Corey Pavin to the guys who get out of school who are 27 handicap. Somehow they can absorb what Butch tells them, and I think obviously that's a vital thing in coaching; you need to be able to communicate to your player, otherwise you're not going to improve at all.
Q. So no more Mickelson drives to the left?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I don't know. I played with Phil the first two days at Augusta, and he really wasn't driving it good. I think he admitted to that. I don't think he knew where it was going. So he could be pretty scary good if he gets that driver in the fairway. It'll give him a lot of scoring opportunities.
Q. Is there a difference for you when you come to a venue where you've won before as opposed to going to a venue where you haven't won before?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, there's always just a nice -- you know, feel in the air when you come here. I feel you just get that extra boost of confidence because you know you can play well around this course.
Q. Geoff said that the fifth most important tournament for him to win would probably be the Aussie Open. I'm not going to put you on the spot right now, but would it surprise you if players picked different fifth most importance depending on their nationality? He threw out Weir would probably pick the Canadian Open as No. 5.
ADAM SCOTT: Probably it is, yeah. You know, it's a hard one because it is a very important tournament to me to win, as well, and being Australian, that's what I grew up always wanting to win. Is it the fifth biggest tournament in the world? No, it's not; this is. It's easy for Geoff to say when he's got the U.S. Open (laughter).
Q. Is there any one specific thing that's changed in your life because of winning THE PLAYERS?
ADAM SCOTT: I get to go in the locker room somewhere else from the other guys (laughter). No, you know, it was a big breakthrough for me, really. I think it just really pushed my career along. You know, nothing outside of golf really changed, but I think it was a big push along in my career at that point to break through relatively young and win THE PLAYERS.
Q. When you won here, did it at all feel like maybe you imagined winning a major would be like? Was it that kind of relief or --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was pretty surreal. There's been a lot of drama involved in this tournament, and I obviously remember growing up and watching Greg win in '94; that was huge. It's been a big event for a long time. It is a little strange when you are actually out there winning a big event and beating a lot of the guys that you've grown up idolizing.
Q. Do you see any similarities in your game this week as opposed to going into the week in 2004?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I could use another chipping lesson maybe (laughter). No, I feel like my striking is always right there. You know, it wasn't quite on last week, but it was close because I saw a lot of good shots. There were just a few wayward ones, and Butch fixed that one up. He thought I was a little too open.
I feel like it's all coming together. When I got here in 2004, everyone who was around me at the time, and some other players, saw how good I was striking it, and they thought I'd do well. Butch said he thought I'd win early in that week. I don't know, maybe I'll go ask him what he's feeling (laughter).
Q. And find out what he's telling Mickelson.
ADAM SCOTT: That's right.
Q. What's the champions' locker room look like on the inside for those of us who haven't managed to scale the castle walls? Any special toys or anything?
ADAM SCOTT: No, there actually isn't. It's just a smaller version of the main locker room, but they've done a very nice job, I think, inside the clubhouse. Very classy, and there's a pool table in the room next door, so that's fun. Ian Poulter just beat me before I came in, so I've got to go get him back.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Adam, thank you. Play well this week.
End of FastScripts