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April 27, 2008

Adam Scott


STEWART MOORE: We'd like to welcome the champion Adam Scott to the interview room here at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship after what was arguably the most dramatic playoff win we've seen in quite some time out here on the PGA TOUR. You played the 18th hole this week six times, you make four birdies, obviously a hole of your liking after the redesign. Talk about the win.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I dug it out of nowhere, I think, a little bit today. You know, I lost my lead early and it was a bit of a battle. I really couldn't get anything going. Got one back after 15 which was disappointing.
The last three holes were downwind fortunately, which was making play a lot easier. I hit a great shot into 16 and set up birdie. It was a good chance for eagle there, and a really good lag putt on 17. And 18, you just have to make birdie. That was it. And I hit a good drive and had a good yardage in, so took advantage of that.
I kind of got away with it, I think, today. A bit lucky, and certainly the putt on the third playoff hole was pretty lucky to go in.
STEWART MOORE: Take us through the three playoff holes. Obviously a disappointing first putt on the 18th, your first hole. Unbelievable shot on 17, missed the putt, and then obviously the 45-footer. Take us through those three.
ADAM SCOTT: The putt on the first hole, it was a weak putt, but it was quick putting straight down there. I watched Bart Bryant do it in regulation, and he hit it so soft, and it just trickled by the hole. I watched Ryan's putt before me on that hole, and he didn't hit it that hard, and it went three feet past. So I knew it was quick, but I hit it obviously way too soft. So that was my first opportunity that I let go.
And then I actually did hit a good shot on the 17th. I didn't block it, but it didn't draw like I was hoping. The wind in regulation, I ended a bit further left, and the wind got it and took it left straight away, and the wind didn't really get that one. Obviously it pitched in a nice spot and stopped under the hole. A bit of a misread, not the best putt, but it wasn't a bad putt, but it kind of went up the hill.
I was getting a little concerned. I was throwing away opportunities to win. Then things weren't looking really great for me coming up 18 again. I had an awkward yardage out of the bunker --

Q. 103?
ADAM SCOTT: I had 115.

Q. 115 hole?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, 115 hole, and 108 to carry the water. The green was giving so much, I saw how far my ball skipped in regulation. I had to try and play safe, and out of the bunker it didn't quite fly up on top to get over, so it stayed this side of the ridge.
You know, I actually had good feelings looking at the putt. I had a pretty good line on it. Sometimes you can just see them straight away, and I got a good grip on that one. I had Tony looking at every other putt for me in the playoff, and I didn't have him look at that one. Not that he can't read a putt (laughter), but I just had a good feeling.

Q. Is that maybe more of a feel putt or a visual --
ADAM SCOTT: Definitely, yeah. It's hard for him to read that putt. But I hit a good putt, and it was really looking good once it got over the top of the hill. I knew it had a chance of going close anyway. A bit of fortune for me that it went down.

Q. When did you know it was in?
ADAM SCOTT: It looked good a long way, and I thought, this has got a chance. And then three feet out, I thought, oh, this is going in, and then it started diving across the front of the hole a little bit, and I thought, it might not.

Q. You had the putter up early.

Q. Yeah.
ADAM SCOTT: As I said, it was a good-looking putt. There was a moment there where it started breaking a little bit, but I think it went just in the left side.

Q. What was the line like on that putt? Was it fairly straight?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I think I played about six feet of break probably. It was breaking left up the hill and then gradually it kept going left over the top of the hill. Probably about six feet.

Q. And then on that bunker shot, what was your lie like?
ADAM SCOTT: The lie was good, but I was at an at-between yardage. It was straight downwind, and I was 115, which is what I hit my sand wedge. But if I hit it at the pin, it's so easy to catch it a little heavy and dump it in the water.

Q. Was the stance an issue? The back of your feet were right on the lip, and it was below your feet, also.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was a little bit awkward. It wasn't terribly bad. I couldn't get my left foot where I really wanted it. It was a bit of a safe play.

Q. How did you feel when it went in compared to say the final putt at THE PLAYERS Championship? Can you compare the exhilaration?
ADAM SCOTT: Similar, to be honest. I mean, it was similar. You know, similar circumstances, too, in a way, letting a lead slip late in the day, and it comes down to one putt. I think the thing that surprises me was at THE PLAYERS I was so calm over that putt, when for most of the day I was not very calm over putts. Much of the same today; I wasn't thinking, oh, I'm going to make this 50-footer, I was just trying to hit a good putt. Actually my stroke freed up and I hit a nice putt. I don't know why that happens. But maybe I was feeling good about the line.

Q. Since Aussies same to play well in Texas, do you have similar conditions back in Australia?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I mean, we get bad weather, we get good weather. It's pretty windy where I grew up, but you wouldn't know that from looking at my play today. I hit some -- well, I hit an awful shot on the par-3 early in the day, which I think if I lost might have been the main reason I lost.

Q. Not to relive that memory, but it looked like on ShotLink you were quite a bit short, and it was only playing, I think, 153 hole.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I hit a 6-iron.

Q. Did it balloon on you?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I hit an awful shot. I was trying to just trap a 6-iron, trap it down low, three quarter 6-iron, came out of it, straight up in the wind. It never had a chance. That was an important -- that threw everyone back in the mix, a mistake like that.

Q. You talked yesterday a little bit about feeling like you needed to make a statement today. I guess, do you feel like you made that, and was it mostly to yourself or to other people?
ADAM SCOTT: In the end I think it was to myself, I could actually win it when things weren't going my way. But it wasn't quite the statement I had in mind. I would have liked to go out there and have played like Ryan played and won by a few. But conditions were tough and it was pretty easy to drop shots out there, I think. Scoring wouldn't have been very good today. You know, I got it in the end, but it wasn't as pretty as I may have hoped for.

Q. Tiger Woods has won plenty of golf tournaments where he hasn't been at his best. Do you take away -- there's no downside to winning.
ADAM SCOTT: No, there is no downside. I mean, and to be honest, I will probably take away more from gutting it out than winning by five, whatever it might be. I've been saying I've been playing well. I expected to go out there and play pretty well, but I know that on a day like today -- I hit a lot of good shots that didn't turn out very well, and the wind was fickle out there, whether it was into or down or the across wind. It was tough to judge.

Q. It was hard earlier, it got a little calmer.
ADAM SCOTT: It settled down on the back nine, definitely, but early on in the front nine I hit some good shots that ended up in bad shots. It may have looked like I made mistakes, but I really didn't feel like I did. It was a little unlucky with the wind.

Q. Can you talk about your feelings when you were back home and wanting to -- obviously you felt it inside you that you could win. Do you get that feeling a lot?
ADAM SCOTT: Not as much as I'd like (laughter). No, I don't, but I know when I'm starting to play well, and I really felt at Augusta I played as well as anyone did the last three days. My score certainly doesn't represent that, but you know, I hit the ball beautiful, I drove it beautiful there, and sometimes you've got to break up the schedule and your plan and go with it and get the results while you're playing well. And I felt like this was not a good time for me to sit at home and wait a couple weeks before coming back. I didn't need to fine-tune anything, I just needed to get out here. So it was a quick turnaround, and obviously it worked well.

Q. What is it about the 18th hole? You birdied it four out of six times this week.
ADAM SCOTT: I know, and there's water on the left, too. Can you believe I didn't hit it in there once this week (laughter)? Yeah, it was playing good for me. I could aim it at the right bunker and let the wind hit it off it today.

Q. That drive you hit on the first playoff hole --
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, that was perfect. I just turned it off the bunker perfect, so that set up well for me.
You know, when you're going in with lob wedge, it's not that tough a hole. You should be making birdie.

Q. Was there any interaction between Tony and Matt about the car?
ADAM SCOTT: I picked up on -- it's going to be the new thing maybe for tournaments to give the caddie a little incentive to get the player there. Tony is very grateful, I'm sure, but I didn't hear any banter between them.

Q. As tough as it was today, did you battle yourself a little bit early on when things weren't going well? I mean, did you have to talk to yourself at all, shots that get batted down, things like that? Or were you just pretty calm about it?
ADAM SCOTT: No, if you hit good shots you can't do much more than that. You can't be too hard on yourself. I feel like you're allowed to hit a few bad ones out there. The one that I didn't like was on that par-3, obviously, but I felt like I didn't do too much wrong, really. I felt like I was playing well. I hit a poor -- bad bogey on the 1st, but it was going to be a grind, and that's just what I took it for. As long as I felt like I was in control of my swing, I didn't really have to give myself that talking-to.

Q. There was another dramatic win in Asia with Darren Clarke, and there was a lot of talk on the range this morning about his victory. I'm curious about your reaction and what he's been through and his comeback to get a win.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I heard about how he won. He holed a long one, right?

Q. Yeah.
ADAM SCOTT: I know Darren pretty well. We're a member at the same club over in the UK. He's been a very good friend to me over the years, especially when I first came on TOUR. He's been through a lot; we all know that. And knowing him pretty well, he's worked really hard for the last eight months or so. You know, it took him a while, obviously, as you'd expect, to get himself back together. But he's really worked hard on his game and put in a lot of time. It shows he's got some real character about him.

Q. In this Tiger-friendly universe, guys like me keep on wishing and urging the younger set on, and certainly a player of immense potential such as yourself and Sergio probably bear the brunt of that. One of the knocks, and Butch has talked about your short game and the killer instinct thing. How do you respond to that? Do you agree with those who would like to see you get -- become fiercer or more ferocious? Do you have it in you?
ADAM SCOTT: I struggle to bring that out to show people. I don't play well if I get too pumped up, if I don't bring myself back down to hit a shot. It doesn't come out. I was grinding inside today. I was playing hard. I wasn't going to let it slip. I felt like I worked hard all week.
You know, I think, sure, I can improve in my short game, but I think -- no, I don't have Tiger Woods' short game or Phil Mickelson's short game for that matter. You're looking at the two best in the world, and that might be a reason why they're the two best in the world. I've seen such a huge improvement in my short game in the last couple years. I mean, I'd put it up against anyone else day-to-day other than those couple guys.

Q. To follow up, in the middle of the round, it seemed like 9, 10, 11, 12, you were in every bunker off the tee. Was that -- did that get hard on you? Did you realize -- were you hitting better shots and just not following the wind you wanted, or what?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, 9 I hit a really nice drive and the wind never moved it, and it just caught the edge of the trap and went right where I was aiming. 10 almost went in the trap. I hit it right where I was aiming, the wind never moved it. Where else did I hit it in the bunker? Anywhere else?
Like I said, I felt like my swing was under control. A couple times the wind didn't affect the ball how I planned it to, and that's always -- that happens when it's gusting, and it's tough to pick up on.
Q. Can you just talk about how fine a line it is between winning and losing and how different it'll feel like walking out of here with a trophy instead of without one, and how does the whole year change from your perspective having come here and won?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I think for me I needed to walk out of here with a trophy, like I was trying to say last night. I needed to go and close this thing out, and it was tough, but I managed to do it. I feel pretty good about myself.
It would have been a tough defeat. Even in tough conditions, to let go of a three-shot lead doesn't sit too well with many people, and that goes for me, as well. That would have been rough.
You know, Ryan played well enough to win today, I think. He had a great round out there. Fortunately for me I had a pretty good buffer on him.

Q. You had a chance to take the sole lead on 16. Any excuses for leaving it short?
ADAM SCOTT: No, just maybe caught up in the line too much, grinding so hard, and I hadn't made a putt for a while at that point. I had a couple chances on 11 and 12 and didn't hit the best of putts. Just caught up in the line.

Q. And the putt on 18, the first time around, can you talk us through it?
ADAM SCOTT: In regulation? Yeah, it broke a lot more than I originally thought. I was asking Tony to have a look, and I said, "Can I play this outside the hole?" We had a look from both sides and from the other side of the hole, it definitely looked like it was breaking. He said, "Yeah, you can put it out there." I put it out there probably three inches and it came back.

Q. Left to right?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, out to the left. When I hit it, I had a look, and it felt like it was pretty high. But it did break in the end and went in the middle, too.
Q. Can you share your thoughts on your next few events or playing schedule, and would Colonial be on that list?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I'm playing the next two weeks in Wachovia and then THE PLAYERS. So looking for a good week next week to go to THE PLAYERS. Obviously a course I love and a great event and a big one for all of us.
Next week is important for me to just keep the momentum going a little bit and not relax and kind of keep pushing myself. You know, hopefully get it going there next week and kind of ride this thing out a little bit while I'm playing well and hope it's just not one week of good play. But I won't be back for Colonial. I'm taking two weeks off.
Q. And you've got such a good record in Texas now.
ADAM SCOTT: I do have a good record, but I don't know if the odds would be in my favor for keeping it that way (laughter).
STEWART MOORE: Adam, great win. Thanks so much.

End of FastScripts

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