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April 8, 2008
ROB JOHNSTON: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is my great pleasure to introduce a great champion and great gentleman of the game, Mr. Adam Scott.
Mr. Scott is a five-time winner on the PGA TOUR and holds eight international championships, including on the PGA TOUR as the 2006 TOUR Championship, the 2007 Shell Houston Open, and the 2008 Qatar Masters, where Mr. Scott shot a final round 61.
This is your seventh Masters appearance. Welcome, sir, and we thank you very much for taking the time to be with us this afternoon, and we invite you to make a comment before we open up to questions.
ADAM SCOTT: Thank you very much. Well, as Melanie pointed out, I'm feeling a bit better. So, you know, it was a rough weekend last weekend. Everyone kind of knows that I was sick. And the antibiotics have been doing their job and I've been resting so I think pretty much over whatever I had, and just looking forward to this week now.
Q. After opening with a 63 at Houston and I believe you went into the tournament not feeling the best, your health obviously worsened, and it must have been a great disappointment to strike that sort of form and then go down sick the week prior to Augusta.
ADAM SCOTT: It was disappointing for a lot of reasons. One, I wanted to try and defend in Houston. I wanted to get four rounds under my belt before coming here and obviously wanted to continue good form coming here, but it was cut short, but you know, coming back today was my first hit since Friday and felt good. So, you know, just trying to look at all of the positive things out of it. You know, 63 last week, things not too bad in my game.
Q. Do you feel if you're 100% by Thursday that the time you had to take off will make it more difficult for you to contend this week, or do you think in the long run it won't hurt you at all?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I don't think it will hurt me at all. It's just, you know, the reason other than defending at Houston was to play some competitive rounds and keep that competitive edge going, and that's the only thing that I'll miss. I think it won't affect my ball-striking or anything like that at all.
So, you know, it's just a matter of being tournament focused from Thursday, and I'll just have to work maybe a little harder at that.
Q. To follow that up, have you played or practiced here yet?
ADAM SCOTT: I played today.
Q. Can you recall the circumstances under which you played here and walked this course for the first time, and what are your memories of it, your first time here?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I came the week before my first Masters, so obviously it was very peaceful out there. And my first memory was walking on to the golf course side of the clubhouse and I couldn't believe how open the area was in front of us with the 18th green and the ninth green and then down in the valley there, which I believe was the old range where they used to warm up a long time ago, but such a big, open area, I was surprised by that.
Q. Your results here at Augusta are kind of not what you would have wanted. Will you have a different approach, any sort of different approach or plan this year to try and improve that?
ADAM SCOTT: No, just play better. I haven't played very well here since my first years. And when you're not striking your irons well here, you're not going to have good results.
Q. And also, just looked at your putting stats, I think you're 13th in putting average this year and you were 21st last year, is there an improvement there do you think?
ADAM SCOTT: What do you think? (Laughter).
Q. Does it reflect something --
ADAM SCOTT: I've been working hard on every aspect of my game, but yeah, there's been a bit of a focus on my putting. I've been a bit more disciplined with my putting practice this year, and pitching, short game, I've been -- yeah, definitely more disciplined this year with it. I've seen some good results with it so far, so I'm going to keep working on that stuff for sure.
Q. Phil Mickelson was in here about an hour ago and said that he was asked what he thought the winning score would be and he said he didn't think it would be lower than last year. What's your take on that?
ADAM SCOTT: It's so hard to pick a winning score, but it's playing so long at the moment; it will be hard to hit a lot of shots close. And it's hard to make a lot of long putts here, even though the greens are so pure, they break so much; to match speed and line is very difficult.
I don't know, a couple under maybe, if the weather's good.
Q. I'm sure that friends or family or whatever have told you about the special that had the Top-10 sexiest golfers of all time and you were No. 1; does this get old for you? Do you take that as a compliment or is it something that you just kind of, okay, wonder how you react when you see something like that?
ADAM SCOTT: I guess I take it as a compliment, but I don't get a green jacket for it. (Laughter) I wish I did.
Q. Do you recall the first time that you realized that an Australian had never won the Masters, and what was your reaction to it when you realized that?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I think I've known since I was six years old. No, at that point, I would have thought Greg was going to be the first Australian to win. Still surprising that we haven't, but it will change.
Q. Are you at all curious who finished second in that poll?
ADAM SCOTT: (Shaking head.)
Q. What was the first eye-opening moment in terms of putting on these greens, and can you recall maybe your most embarrassing experience?
ADAM SCOTT: My most embarrassing experience? Well, seeing Tiger's putting one in the water doesn't make mine feel too bad. I putted off the 17th green my first year on Sunday. But you know, I can't think of -- yeah, there's probably been a lot; not getting up a slope and having it roll back past where I started from, stuff like that.
Q. Can you remember a moment from when you played the first time in practice or your first year here where it was like, wow, everything I heard it was.
ADAM SCOTT: My first year here, I played a practice round with Greg Norman, and we poured some water on the 16th green at the top and it rolled off the green, the water, trickled; didn't sink into the green at all. That was pretty scary.
Q. Has your friend Geoff Ogilvy commented to you about the fact that he has overtaken you in the World Rankings? And is there a serious part to that question, all of the Australians, do you think that you drive each other; the fact that Geoff is going so well at the moment, does that inspire you, and even Aaron, as well?
ADAM SCOTT: I think we all drag each other along for sure. I didn't see the World Rankings, but I'm going to have to play well this week and go back past him.
No, I think that's why we keep playing so well every year. One of us plays well and the others lift their game and play well and we all kind of pull each other along a little bit, for sure. I think there's a bit of a carry on effect, yeah.
Q. When Phil hooked up with Butch, you said you didn't have a problem. Now Ernie has hooked up. Do you feel like it's getting a bit crowded in the stable?
ADAM SCOTT: Not for me. I get plenty of time with Butch that I need. He makes me aware that I'm going to get my time, and as long as that happens, then I'm happy for him to look at anybody he wants to.
Q. Should the Australians be buoyed that a European player won the British Open last year, considering no Australian has won here?
ADAM SCOTT: Should?
Q. Should you feel a bit better that that streak was broken?
ADAM SCOTT: Ours has gone on longer than that one over there.
I think it's just going to get broken one day, hopefully this week. I don't really dwell on it. I don't think it's a curse.
Q. As far as Tiger Woods is concerned, obviously everyone talks about his play and Tiger, he thinks he's never played better; do you think he still has an intimidating impact on the feel, and does it affect you at all that he's playing so well, knowing that you have to raise your game that much higher?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't think he does at the start of the week. But certainly in the last few events he's played, he's got up on the leaderboard on Sundays, he's had an impact it seems. Maybe he was coming from too far behind in Doral and Geoff was playing solid but there have been a couple other weeks where he snuck in from behind and guys have come backwards as he's coming forwards.
I think he has less of an impact than he used to have when he first came out and everyone was kind of blown away by him charging up and guys were falling apart. I think we're all playing better and we're used to it. But he's still playing better than us at the end of the day.
Q. From the time you were six or whenever you first started watching the Masters on television, how do you think the tournament has evolved?
ADAM SCOTT: As a test of golf? Hard to say from when I was six. I think it's a harder test now, I feel like, and certainly lot lower numbers, I was a kid growing up watching the Masters in the '90s, and even up until my first couple years here, a lot lower numbers and the last five years maybe it's become just a brutal golf course.
Q. Still possible?
ADAM SCOTT: A little bit. It's still possible to have a low score here. It's just so hard to do it now. I think it's going to happen a lot less. It's hard to get it going. It's hard to light up the back nine. Your clubs in are so much longer, and I think it makes room for errors even less.
Q. A while back Tiger said that winning the Grand Slam this year was within reach and most people would say that and get laughed at easily. What was your reaction, and is this a guy who needs to set bigger goals?
ADAM SCOTT: He probably does. Yeah, I'm not laughing at him. I mean, if I was him, I'd believe that it would be, as well. I can't see how the guy could not be confident of that happening. He's winning so often when he plays that, you know, he must step on the first tee feeling pretty good about his chances every week.
Q. Having sat out yesterday, are you trying to squeeze in more tomorrow or just a normal Wednesday practice routine?
ADAM SCOTT: No, just normal. I think the less work I do, the better. Just because I'm feeling better, not work harder; make sure I've got plenty of energy come Sunday.
Q. Will you play the Par 3 contest?
ADAM SCOTT: I'm not sure. See how I feel.
Q. When you see how much more difficult a test is here, this course, compares to five or ten years ago, do you think that puts more players in the field or in position to be on that leaderboard on Sunday, and more people to contend with Tiger, or less or does it really not make a difference?
ADAM SCOTT: I'm not too sure. I'm not sure that it makes a difference. I think by the end of the week, it seems to be widdled down to a few players most years from memory. Never seems to be, you know, 20 guys in with a chance. It's more like five guys, it seems to me how it is the last few years as well. I don't think it makes a difference.
Q. As well as you were playing before the illness, do you expect that to continue this week?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely, yeah. As long as I have my iron play. That's the only thing that I would like to have solid this week where I feel like maybe tomorrow with just another day out on the course, hit a few more shots on the range; if I really dial that in, I feel like I'll be in good shape and everything else goes good in my game with driving, and chipping and putting is good, I feel like if I can really dial my iron play in a little bit.
Q. What was it specifically that you're working on?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know, I guess it's just hitting 4-, 5-, 6-irons into greens. You have to be swinging the club well to consistently hit them well and control them and bring in some high shots. I feel like it's a rhythm thing, but you've got to strike them nicely here, otherwise they are landing on the green without control.
ROB JOHNSTON: Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for your questions and I want to thank Adam Scott, our guest, for your time, sir, and we wish you the very best of health and luck this week.
End of FastScripts