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February 19, 2008

Adam Scott


CHRIS REIMER: We want to welcome Adam Scott to the media center here at the World Golf Championships, Accenture Match Play Championship. Adam, I guess just kind of start off, talk a little bit about the match play format. Is that something you prefer and enjoy playing?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, match play is a change of pace for us out here, but I've had some success playing it over the past few years, not very much last year. I enjoy it. It's one of those things where you can play good and get beat, which doesn't always happen out here that way. So you've just got to take it for what it is. It's head-to-head, and I think that's the nice thing about match play.

Q. You spoke yesterday about you've been working on some minor technical changes with your swing, especially your short game and your putting. Can you expand on what exactly you're doing?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. I worked on my backswing this morning with Butch, and it really clicked. So I'm very happy with that. I struck the ball really well out there today, more like I used to hit it, I think.
As far as my putting goes, my hands have just always been too low, too far down, too much into my body. So I've worked on moving my hands more upright, getting them away from my body a little bit and allowing that putter to swing a little more freely.

Q. What made you decide you needed to do these things?
ADAM SCOTT: The search for perfection, Andrew, the endless search. No, I figured I wanted to be a better player. And just going through the motions all the time, I think I've become a better player mentally every year, and experience-wise I've become better, but you've always got to find something to make better. And there was certainly room for improvement technically I felt at the end of last year.

Q. Assuming your game is right where you want it to be, how would your expectations going into tomorrow differ from your expectations at the Memorial or Wachovia, something like that?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it's kind of do-or-die here. I can be playing great going into The Memorial, as well. Even if I don't play well on Thursday, I can get myself back into the tournament by Sunday, whereas here it's -- you'd better bring it every day otherwise likely you're probably going home because you've got the top 65 guys in the world here.
So as much as I expect to win, you've got to be a little careful that you're not getting ahead of yourself in this format.

Q. Do you brace for this going into the week, don't beat myself up over it type stuff?
ADAM SCOTT: I think that's what you've got to do if your weekend is early. You've got to do that, not beat yourself up over it. At the start of the week you've got to be confident and expecting to play through the weekend. But looking back on tournaments in the past, you can play well and lose.

Q. What's the worst loss you've ever had here, do you think?
ADAM SCOTT: Losing to Tiger that one year.

Q. Because you got so far, you think, or how it ended?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, how it ended. That was disappointing, I think, for both of us, to be honest. It was a quality match.

Q. When you look at your short game, I guess, your putting specifically, is that behind the rest of your game in your view? Is that the area where you feel like you need to do the most work to put yourself up another notch or whatever? Statistically you've had some up-and-downs in that category over the years.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's not as consistent probably as my ball-striking. But then again, I never seem to be leading greens in regulation, either. So somehow it just all comes together for a good score. But consistency, I think, needs to improve. And that's why I decided to put a little work in technically with the short game, to improve the consistency, bring it up a little bit. There's room for improvement.

Q. The reason I ask is it seems to be, it's not a universal truth, but a slight common theme among some of the younger guys that the putting seems to be the last missing in ingredient before moving them way up, outside of Aaron, I'm thinking of yourself at times, Charles Howell, Trevor's tried just about everything on the planet now to get to that next level. I don't know if you guys get so fixated on the golf swing -- I'm not saying this is for everyone, but in some cases, too technical, and the short game is given short shrift. I'm trying to figure out why that seems to be a common thread.
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know why that is.

Q. If it is, in fact.
ADAM SCOTT: I think when I first turned pro, my short game was not up to its standard at all. It's come a long way since then. If you're picking weaknesses, I don't think it's necessarily a weakness, but it's not my strength. I didn't get to where I am by having a bad short game, really, is what I'm trying to say. I think it's good, but it can be better. My ball-striking can be better, too. Although today I was pleased with the work that Butch and I did and got my ball-striking back to how I like to see it.
I don't know, I definitely don't think we give it the short shrift, the short game. We all know that's how you make the score and how you win tournaments. Everyone hits it pretty good; all the young guys hit it good. And especially the way the courses have been set up the last couple of years, the short game is even more important.
I don't really know the answer to that question. All I know is mine has improved a lot over the seven years I've been out here and I certainly don't think it's a weakness. It may not be as good as my ball-striking, but it's not off-the-charts terrible.

Q. Is it possible to work too much on your short game to the point where quantity -- you're sacrificing quality at the expense of quantity? Hitting putts for three hours and kind of losing your concentration, and maybe developing bad habits, is it possible to do that?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it is, yeah. You need to have quality practices always. But hitting 50 three-footers, thinking about them properly, is better than hitting 500 and going through the motions of smacking three-footers in the hole. To practice the short game a lot is a good thing, I think, but you need to be concentrating and know when you're tired and you're messing around.
For me you start fooling around when you've had enough practice, start doing silly shots and having fun, and that's probably time to go home for the day.

Q. Also on Butch, you've been with him for a while now. How much of your sessions with him are him maybe reminding you of things or showing you things that you've gotten out of and how much are actually new things?
ADAM SCOTT: We don't do a lot of new stuff. The whole thing about today came from Butch was watching my match against Tiger, was on The Golf Channel last night, and I said to him how did you like my swing there, because I know it's different than what it's been lately. He said he loved it. So we just got talking about what I need to do to swing like that again, because I struck the ball really well at that point.
It took about three or four swings on the range this morning to get back there. It was a simple thing from Butch to try and not cock my wrists as much in the backswing, just take it wide. And it felt really good today. Not much new stuff going on, just working with what we've got.

Q. Can he usually tell in about five minutes or half a dozen swings what it is?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. Usually when we're on the right track, it only takes a few swings. A lot of the time it's -- not quick fixes, but it is a quick -- it heals quickly. It's something, you know, I'd like to keep swinging like this for the rest of the year somehow. That's what we're going to monitor. Usually it feels right straight away; it doesn't take too long to find it.

Q. Some people might be surprised to hear that with videotapes these days and everything that it takes a random event like watching a tape from years ago to make something click in your brain.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, well, I think people would be surprised how little I see my swing on tape. I saw it once, maybe, last year. And you get too technical, like you said. It's easy to go and just watch every swing on camera and try to build a perfect golf swing. But you need to have some feel in it and you need to know what's going on out on the golf course because Butch isn't standing next to me on the golf course telling me how to fix it or what I'm doing wrong.
So you need to understand your own swing and develop feel for yourself. And I think you can get carried away with trying to put it in a perfect position. If you can only hit a cut one day, then that's what you've got to do out on the golf course; don't try to fight it and hit straight shots. Go out and play with the cut and come out the next day hopefully better.

Q. Having just come off the course, how was the condition of the course, and does it play to your strengths?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, the condition is beautiful, not a blade of grass out of place out there. So it's very pleasant to play.
I think it does. There's a couple of drivable par-4s. The par-5s are pretty long. But today I was still able to reach them. So I think a long hitter might have a bit of an advantage out there.

Q. Who watched the match against Tiger on TV, you or Butch?

Q. So he mentioned it to you?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, he said he was just watching me. It was a bit out of the blue, random.

Q. If it was you, you would have thought about this sometime ago, maybe?
ADAM SCOTT: Sure. Well, I saw -- I should probably look at my swing a little more. But in Qatar on Friday afternoon it was tape-delayed so I was having lunch and I was watching the swing, and I thought, that doesn't look very good. So I went out and hit a few balls and it was much better on the weekend.

Q. That's what we heard. 61, what was it?
CHRIS REIMER: Any thoughts on -- how well do you know Brendan?
ADAM SCOTT: I know him pretty well. We played a year on the National Squad in Australia. And with Geoff Ogilvy, he was the best player. Those two were the best amateur golfers at the time down there. I've caught up with him in Japan a couple of times and he was over here a couple of years ago. So I know him a bit. Obviously had a really good season in Japan last year.

Q. Off the beaten path a little bit with this one, you might have heard that Golf Digest is going to throw an amateur on to the U.S. Open course the weekend before you guys play it. It goes back to something that Tiger had said in almost a flippant remark last year that your average guy couldn't break 100 on this golf course. So they thought up this promotion and they're going to send a 10- or 11-handicapper out there to play your tees two or three days before you guys get there. What do you suppose is going to happen to that guy if he finishes? Not just Torrey Pines specifically but under those circumstances.
ADAM SCOTT: He'd better take a lot of golf balls with him.

Q. You played it last week, I understand?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, two weeks ago now. It was tough. I played at 6:30 in the morning and it was playing long.

Q. Did you go out by yourself?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I played with Butch, actually.

Q. Did you beat him?
ADAM SCOTT: Only just. He didn't enjoy it because he played back with me. It was a tough track for Butch. But yes, I haven't played there since Junior World in '97. So it would had been a while and a lot has changed. They had already marked out some rough lines with the white paint. It was good to see it again because it's going to be a really tough golf course.

Q. What did you think when you got to 13 and continued to walk back to the ocean?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, well that tee was actually fenced off, so we couldn't play it. But that's a brutal hole. I mean 12 is a brutal hole. 11 is pretty long. 11 is really long.

Q. What did you think when you saw where the tee was on 13? Did it make any sense to you? Did you think it was a good change?
ADAM SCOTT: That was the only hole I was not happy with out there. It was the only disappointing hole on the course, I think, for what I remember being a really nice par-5 to probably not a nice one now. It's going to cause some headaches, I'm sure, if we're back on the ocean.

Q. Do you like having that par-5 closing hole? There could be some fireworks down the stretch where someone might win it with a birdie instead of usually it's losing it with a bogey kind of thing?
ADAM SCOTT: I'd like to see that. I'd like to see a guy win it.

Q. If you could answer this to the best of your ability. If the USGA says their intention is not to protect par, why do you think they'd take a course that's been a 72 since the day it was constructed and turn it into a 71?
ADAM SCOTT: Your guess is as good as mine. I don't know. I think the 6th hole is the one that's going to a par-4, right?

Q. Yes.
ADAM SCOTT: It's a good par-5. It's a tough par-4.

Q. What tee did you play that day?
ADAM SCOTT: I played from 500 yards, which is one up, and it was a driver and a 5-wood.

Q. What kind of line did you have?
ADAM SCOTT: Line? Yeah, it's like over that tree. It's a tight fairway and they still were growing the rough in there. I don't know. I don't know why they do that. They just want to make it a tough test, I guess. So that's an easy way to do it, turn a par-5 into a par-4.

Q. Obviously it will play different in June than February. Did you just want to get an image of the holes in your mind?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. Hopefully it's going to be a little firmer, a little faster. I don't know, I can't imagine it being rock hard out there in June, even.

Q. How did you do in the Junior World, you said back in '97?

Q. How was your experience there?
ADAM SCOTT: I did okay that year. I think Kevin Stadler beat Trevor in a playoff that year. I don't know, I finished 10th or something. It was okay.

Q. Had you been to the States often at that point or was that one of your earlier or first trips?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I'd been coming for a few years. I came to that Junior World when I was 14, I think, for the first time.
CHRIS REIMER: Thanks for coming in.

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