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September 11, 2007
JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Adam, for joining us for a few minutes here in the media center at the TOUR Championship. Here defending your title about a month and a half early but coming off a great finish last week at the BMW Championship and you're right there at the Top 10 on the FedExCup, so it's been a great year again this year.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was good to get back here, certainly. That kind of was the first goal of the year after winning here. You know, it's purely a tournament that you can win it and not get the chance to defend, so I'm pleased to be back.
Coming after a good weekend last week in Chicago, I'm happy with the way I'm playing and looking forward to getting out here this week.
Q. Have you played yet?
ADAM SCOTT: No.
Q. Have you spoken to anyone that has?
ADAM SCOTT: No. There aren't too many people here I'm surprised you guys are here even.
Q. Have you seen the greens yet?
ADAM SCOTT: I haven't, no. I've just seen the putting green coming in.
I was told to expect the worst, and they look a little bit rough but certainly not what we're used to on the Tour.
Q. Are you going to play today?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I might go out.
Q. When did you find out that they changed the ruling on practice rounds?
ADAM SCOTT: Last night. I got a message on my phone.
Q. Were you coming in today anyway, or did you just get here earlier?
ADAM SCOTT: I've been here -- I came straight from Chicago. But no, just been taking it easy for a couple days here, and I'll loosen up today.
Q. Can you talk about how the first FedExCup went in your eyes and whether there are any changes that you think would be good to have, and what are the things that you liked about it?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I'd like the chance to win. I can't. But I guess I should have played better.
I think it went okay. I think they've had three good events as far as tournaments go. They've had top players contending every week. I think the Deutsche Bank was kind of a dream scenario for this series, and having Tiger and Phil go at it and Phil coming out on top, and then obviously last week was a great event, also, in Chicago, with Badds kind of pushing Tiger all the way.
You know, but I think there's definitely some room for changes, and to be honest, I haven't sat down and thought about it enough, exactly what that should be. You know, I think it's -- I think the thing that comes out in my mind is 144 guys starting a playoff series is probably not -- it's too many to call it a playoff series.
Q. When you come here and you don't have a chance to win the grand prize but you can still win the tournament, does it feel any different than the TOUR Championship did last year to you, that you're just here to try to win the TOUR Championship?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it kind of feels that way. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't play better in New York and Boston to at least give myself a chance here. But you know, I've got the opportunity to try and defend this event, which is one of the premier PGA TOUR events. So certainly just as motivated as I was last year.
Q. Do you think that players should have to play in all four, or do you think it's okay for them to pick and choose what they want to play?
ADAM SCOTT: Depends what the rules are. The rules said you don't have to.
Q. What do you think should be the rules? If they asked you how to set it up, what would your advice be?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, if it was called the Playoffs, I'd recommend that they have guys playing until they're out and not be able to take a week off in between.
Q. Do you think it's going to be kind of odd that on Sunday there's a very real possibility that we might have one guy winning the tournament, gets his name in the 30th paragraph of the story, and then you get the guy winning the $10 million which sort of wipes the other guy out?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's a little peculiar, I guess. But they have it that way on the Seniors Tour potentially, as well. I don't know, in a dream world, they'd like it to all be on the line in the last group. They'd have a hell of a story.
Yeah, I think everyone is kind of really focused on winning the event first and foremost and then seeing how it plays out.
Q. When did you play here earlier in the summer? Did you play here earlier in the summer?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I didn't. I was here three weeks ago for the media day.
Q. What were the greens like then?
ADAM SCOTT: They weren't good. No, they were struggling. They were just bringing the fans in at that point, that week, to try and help them out.
Q. Were you thinking then that there might be a problem?
ADAM SCOTT: I was told then there's a problem, yeah.
Q. Did you expect the tournament to be here at that time?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I didn't really think about it, and it wasn't brought to my attention that that was an option, either, and I don't think it ever was an option. But apparently they've improved dramatically in the last five days.
Q. The LPGA has a year-ending tournament where they do it differently, where everybody has a chance to win their big grand prize and they whittle it down to a one-day shootout. Would you like to see it here where everybody that qualified for this thing would have a chance to win?
ADAM SCOTT: I think that would be a good way to do it. If it's called the Playoffs that's what it comes down to in most sports, whoever is left standing. There's one game in the Super Bowl; is that right?
Q. That's right, very good.
ADAM SCOTT: But similar, we have the grand final in the AFL. They go into the Playoffs and the two teams left standing have a chance. In golf having 30 guys shoot out one week, maybe not one round but for the week I think would be a good way to go.
Q. Off the track a little bit, I was wondering what your take is, if you've noticed Tiger's new swing of late the last couple of months, and it looks a little familiar, maybe circa '01, around in there, maybe a little more upright? Seems like you would be a good guy to ask on that front since you guys used to be very close.
ADAM SCOTT: Sure, yeah. I should try and copy (laughter). I just got to see him hit a few balls on the range. I was playing well enough last week, I was on the range at the same time as him for a change (laughter) and stopped to watch him hit a few balls. Yeah, I was very impressed with the way he was hitting the ball and swinging the club. The ball flight was similar to what I used to see a lot when he spent time with him practicing and playing.
Q. A little less flat, I guess?
ADAM SCOTT: It looks a little more upright, absolutely. I like the way he's swinging the club right now.
Q. There's been a lot of talk about the compression of the schedule, particularly from the elite players, where you guys have to play at least seven times in nine weeks. Next year it's going to be bad for the American Ryder Cup guys, not for you. How do you feel about that? Do you think that's something that should have been taken into consideration before they came up with the schedule? In fact, a lot of you guys are not thrilled about having to play this much in that compressed a schedule.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I think it's something they have to think about, especially next year with the Ryder Cup butting up against this event. Some guys are not going to play every week. There are going to be some tournaments that miss out. When you're putting these tournaments as the premium events, it's not good for the sponsors, for sure. That's where they need to sit down and have a look at the rules and guidelines for this playoff series and figure out a way that guys can -- they can make the most of it. I know guys have got a little bit of heat for taking weeks off, but they've still been pretty good tournaments and they've still got more of the top players playing later in the season, which is after the PGA, when everyone seems to go hibernate.
Q. Seems like because there have been a few foibles along the way, people have lost track of the fact that still, there's a pretty high number, nine of the Top 10 guys in the world, playing at a time of year where they'd normally be sleeping late and playing in the swimming pool. That was the primary focus, and it's been a raging success, and like you said, the Sundays have been terrific.
ADAM SCOTT: It's been great. I think it's easy to see the negatives sometimes, but I think the positives, we've had three great events so far. I think obviously the TOUR Championship is the pinnacle of the season. To have the Top 30 guys here this week is going to be another great event.
Q. Do you think a lot more of the players are going to take more of a role next year in trying to give input? It seems like a lot of guys weren't really involved with this year. Do you think guys are going to take a more active role?
ADAM SCOTT: I think that's up to the TOUR. I think the TOUR needs to come to us and get our input and hear what we have to say, and especially -- they need to speak at both ends of the spectrum, to the guys who are getting in on the 144 number and also the top guys. They need to somehow find a happy medium between both and find a way that it can work.
But like I said, I think we've had three good tournaments so far. There are probably just a couple little changes certainly. You've got to give it a chance. It's the first year. If they can make some changes and tweak a little bit and make it better, then I think it'll be a success next year, as well.
Q. After The Presidents Cup, what kind of playing schedule do you see yourself doing in terms of the Fall Series or elsewhere in the world?
ADAM SCOTT: I'm going to go home for a month off after The Presidents Cup, and then I'll play two events in Asia in November. I'm going to play the Sun City, the Nedbank challenge, and then the Australian PGA at home in December.
Q. For guys like you, do you kind of feel like this is the end of the PGA TOUR season for you?
ADAM SCOTT: For me this week, yeah.
Q. In your opinion, is it too much to ask guys to play four weeks in a row? Is a four-week playoff too long?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know. I'll say yes because I generally don't play four weeks in a row myself. If it could somehow be spaced out, maybe four out of five or three out of four, something like that, I think it's going to be received a little better.
The problem is just they're big tournaments on each end of the playoff series, so that's going to run into trouble there. But generally there aren't many of the top players playing four weeks in a row, other than Vijay.
Q. What's the toughest thing about playing four weeks in a row, or six of seven? Is it the grind, the travel, or a little bit of everything?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it's different for everybody. It's what you put into an event. You know, some people don't appreciate that Tiger can play two weeks in a row like Akron and the PGA and say he's exhausted. But two weeks of being at the top of the leaderboard under pressure at the biggest golf tournaments in the world certainly takes its toll on you.
My personal approach to events is when I'm there I give 100 percent, and if you're playing at a long list of events in a row, it can easily fall into the trap of oh, well, it's not happening this week, there's always next week. I'd rather not get into that habit. I want to keep working while I'm out here and get the most out of every week. And if you're up there in contention week after week, it certainly takes its toll mentally. I don't think it takes -- wears Tiger out too much physically. I think he's got that covered. But mentally you definitely need to rest and recoup and get your nervous energy back.
Q. How would you respond to fans that say, hey, NFL players go out and practice in full pads five days a week, go play on Sunday, still have to travel and all that, and they have to do it 16 weeks out of 17, plus preseason, training camp, plus if they get in the Playoffs, they do play every playoff week. How would you counterbalance that?
ADAM SCOTT: That's what they have to do. They go do it. We don't have to play every week. That's not how the TOUR is set up, and it shouldn't be set up that way. You know, we work within the rules that we're given. They're told they've got to play every week, train every week, and they've got to find a way around it. There are a lot of injuries, as well, because of that. The body breaks down.
Q. Do you think you risk losing fans with that attitude because you're playing golf, not digging coal?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, when I say we don't have to play every week, it doesn't mean that weeks off you put the clubs away and don't do anything. There's a training regimen that we follow at home. We work out, depending on who you are, five days a week. There's practice, hours that are spent chipping and putting. I mean, there's preparation.
If you play every week you're not going to play very well every week. Certainly Tiger is the model of that. He comes out, gives 110 percent every week he's out here, and his performance speaks for itself. I can guarantee he wouldn't perform the same if he played every week.
Q. Is there anything that you look for? Are there telltale signs when you're becoming mentally fatigued, when you can tell that your body might feel okay but maybe your composure is not there or you're a little bit more irritable or Tony knows what to look for?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely, frustration, certainly. You can be feeling physically fine and hitting the ball well and mentally not be there. The frustration can set in quicker, your patience level goes down.
Q. Is that a by-product of say four weeks in a row and you might wear out there faster than you do physically, in theory?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely, in theory, you could, yeah.
Q. If The Presidents Cup were next week instead of two weeks down the road and you were in a situation where you couldn't win the overall FedExCup thing and were feeling a little tired, would you hesitate at all to take a week off to be ready for the Presidents Cup?
ADAM SCOTT: I wouldn't skip the TOUR Championship, no. I think that's a pretty important event as far as PGA TOUR goes. And to be honest, with a 30-fan field and in two-balls, that's not a very wearing week. We're playing in under four hours. It's kind of a dream event to play for us.
Q. At the beginning of this year you were talking about wanting to win a major and getting ready for -- doing that this year. Now that you've gotten to this stage, how do you assess how this year has been for you personally?
ADAM SCOTT: Golf-wise, you know, I'd give myself a C, really. I'm a bit disappointed, especially after how consistently well I played last year. I expected more, and I expected myself to play a lot better than I did in the majors, really only playing decent at the U.S. PGA. The others were extremely disappointing for me. Two times in my career I've had quite good years, 2004 and last year. I didn't back it up with a very good year. It's something for me to work on, certainly.
I still think I've improved as a player. I mean, I've taken a lot out of this year. But I'm a little disappointed not to kick on from where I left off at the end of '06.
Q. How have you improved?
ADAM SCOTT: I've gained experience. I think my swing and ball-striking-wise has improved, and certainly management, as well, on the golf course. I think with good play and being out here and getting in contention and being under the heat a little bit, you can always improve and take something from it.
Q. Did you think when you won at Houston that you were sort of hitting your stride at just the right time, and was that a little bit --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I mean, it was -- I've obviously played well to win, but a little bit this year I felt like I played all my good golf before I got to the majors, certainly the first two. I was playing great leading into the U.S. Open, as well, and then by the time Thursday rolled around, all my good golf was left out on the practice range (laughter).
You know, it's a matter of figuring out why that is and working it out so that next year when I step on the tee Thursday at Augusta, I'm bringing my best golf the next four days.
End of FastScripts