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June 2, 2010

Adam Scott


LARRY LIVSEY: Good afternoon, everybody. We'd like to welcome Adam Scott into the interview room. And you're playing your sixth Memorial. You missed the cut here last year. What's your assessment of your game right now entering the tournament tomorrow?
ADAM SCOTT: The game is good, obviously, coming off a win in my last start at Valero. Been off for two weeks, which was nice. I had a nice week off, and then last week I've been working on my game.
Fixing up a couple things that I felt I could have done better at Valero. So it's a work in progress, but everything's feeling really good, and obviously taking a lot of confidence out of a win. So that coupled with the little bit of work I've done last week, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm excited. It's a course I've played a lot of good rounds at in the past. I haven't had the best results, but some good ones here.
I think most guys enjoy this course. I'm the same. It's in great shape, and an exciting event with everything that comes with it. It's Jack's tournament and a great golf course, one of the best on the Tour.

Q. Adam, since Valero, have you seen Dave Stockton or his son at all to work on your putting?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I haven't. I've been in Australia for two weeks.

Q. What did you see there?
ADAM SCOTT: In Australia? Unfortunately, I watched my football team. Well, they won one game while I was home, which is good, one for the season. And I took it pretty easy at home actually. I didn't surf this trip. The waves were an hour drive from me, and I didn't feel like doing that.
So I just stayed at home, caught up with friends and family, and then last week I was working on the game on the range.

Q. If you had not won in San Antonio, had you planned on playing any more in Texas?
ADAM SCOTT: I hadn't actually, no. I planned to go home. I say that. I mean, I can change all the time. I'd actually planned on maybe playing Colonial, but once I played San Antonio, I thought I wouldn't play Colonial anyway, not just because I ended up winning.

Q. What are the couple things you said you are trying to fix?
ADAM SCOTT: I wasn't really happy with my distance control and my short clubs in San Antonio and especially coming down the stretch under pressure. I just -- I don't know whether it was just adrenaline, or partly adrenaline, but also partly the way I was swinging the club that week, that it was just going a long way, too far for what I like. And I got away with it there.
I made some good putts, and I scrambled well for the week, but that's just one week, and it won't hold up if I do that here or the U.S. Open or something like that.
So I just worked on toning it down a little bit and trying to control my short clubs a little better, just a few little things just set our position really. But nothing major, just little fine tuning like that, that I think I need to do better if I want to have a chance to compete on a regular basis in big events, especially the U.S. Open.

Q. What's your experience at Pebble Beach again?
ADAM SCOTT: My experience there? I played the U.S. Amateur there in '99, and I played the Pebble Beach tournament this year.

Q. But I mean, I know Pebble Beach, but that's February. Just in '99, did you get a good feel for the coach? Do you kind of know what you're going to get the next two weeks from now?
ADAM SCOTT: I think so. Pebble seems to be a course that you can remember quite easily. Obviously, it's a lot of great holes. It's a course that I've seen a lot growing up. It used to be on a lot of video games, you know, so you have a rough idea of the holes.
I think that and the fact that I've played a few U.S. Opens now, I've kind of seen what they do with golf courses. You can get a pretty good picture in your mind of how it's going to be.
So, yeah, I mean, I don't have a lot of experience there, but not many guys would. It's been ten years since the last open was there, and it's been eight years before for the one before that. So there won't be too many guys that have played more than one open there.

Q. Watson.
ADAM SCOTT: Could be a danger again. I mean, he could. I'm not joking. He could, absolutely.

Q. You played, if I remember, the week before Pebble, you played with Tiger at Rio Secco. Did you get a vibe for what was coming?
ADAM SCOTT: At that 2000 Open?

Q. Yeah.
ADAM SCOTT: You know, it was the first time I ever played with Tiger. It was the Sunday before the U.S. Open. You know, I felt, if anyone else out there plays like that, I probably shouldn't be turning pro. I should think of another career because I was still an amateur at that point. It was phenomenal the way he played the game.
And I mean, it still is the way he plays, but everything was different back then, and technology was different. He had such a huge advantage the way he could fight a golf ball compared to everyone else.
So, yeah, I mean, I actually kind of wasn't surprised he blew the field away there. It was incredible. I was quite pleased to see that because I didn't want anyone else playing that good.

Q. Did Butch play that day, Adam?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I don't think he did. He came out towards the end because Tiger shot a course record that day, and he came out to watch us play the last few holes. But he just let us go out there.

Q. Did you feel that, when you look back at his game, you know, he was saying earlier that he doesn't have the same body speed, he's different, he's shaped differently. What do you remember from how he played then vis-a-vis how he is now?
ADAM SCOTT: What are the differences in his game? Well, I mean, his swing has evolved like, I guess, with his body's changed and everything. Everyone's swing evolves, and there are slight changes. I mean, he's gone through some major ones, which are obvious.
The change he made with Butch early in his career and then another change with Hank. You know, he doesn't obviously -- he doesn't drive the ball the same as he did then. He seemed to drive the ball much better earlier in his career, but then I think, he's phenomenal still now, and his short game is incredible. That's just developed, as we all do. I mean, I think all parts of our game develop with experience and play, and his is just continued. It was great before, but, I mean, it's even better now.

Q. Do you think it's a bit much to expect him to go back to Pebble Beach ten years later, given where he's at right now, and you know, put on another master class?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, you know, I never like to assume what he can and can't do because he proves us all wrong all the time. But, you know, going off his current form, you know, I wouldn't predict a 15-stroke victory.
But in saying that, he can absolutely go there and win the U.S. Open.

Q. Do you get a sense, Adam -- and you made a comment. I don't know if you remember this -- two or three years ago, when Tiger was about here, trying to be number one in this era and how much you have to do and hope he's not like this, very unpredictable at the moment. That there is a greater opportunity now than ever before for that spot to be taken over? And not necessarily by Phil, but by a collection of guys over the next however many months.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. It's amazing how quick things change in the game with just a few months of good play or bad play. So, yeah, it's something that I haven't had in my mind for a fair few years really. I didn't think it was realistic, even number three in the world. You know, I wasn't, wow, I'm so close because I was so far behind in points really. He had double the points I had at the time.
So there is an opportunity for some guys, you know, if they can play, but it's going to take a year of playing good. Phil's been playing good since September to rack up all these points, and Tiger's lost a few. You know, so it's going to take a year of consistent play of being the best player in the world to get that spot, which is possible for a lot of guys out there, but it's going to take phenomenal play. Phil is the closest at the moment to doing that. If he gets there, he definitely deserves it.

Q. Just curious, in your short time with Dave and then Dave, Jr., was the glory of that is that it was so subtle and so natural to you and seemingly you picked it up pretty quickly. Was it the change?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was. I think generally, when I get things, that's how they feel. My people probably say that as well.
I mean, it was a subtle change. It wasn't anything unnatural. It wasn't a method. It was just where I felt I've been in that position before. So there was -- it was a nice feeling and obviously easy for me to put into my game.
You know, it took a couple weeks, and then on that Sunday I finally got them all going in. So I'm really grateful to those guys for the very short amount of time that we've spent working on it. It wasn't much at all.
It's nice, for them as well, you know. It shows how knowledgeable they are and the way they wanted to communicate what they wanted to me. It also validates how well I've been hitting the ball as well this year. I mean, it all kind of came together. I'm having my best season statistically, striking-wise, that I've ever had as well.
But the part that was letting me down was the putting so far this year. So it's nice to kind of have things sorting themselves out in that department.

Q. Adam, when you come into a tournament like this, do you at all think about in your preparation what you have to do, maybe from a spot -- do you think Tiger would worry about those kinds of things? Do you worry about those kinds of things? Is it just making the cut and winning the tournament one day at a time?
ADAM SCOTT: Sorry. I didn't get the point of that.

Q. When you come into a tournament, do you think about the position you are, number one in the world, number two in the world, number three in the world, things like that, or do you worry about other things?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, there are times when potentially you could be on the bubble for a cutoff, if you're 49th or 51st, you could be worried about where you are in the world because that's the only world ranking that really matters, other than number one, is the 50th position. Unless you're in that position, no, I'm not worried about the world ranking at all.
I'm looking to play my game as usual and work my way into a position to win the golf tournament. Some weeks that happens, and other weeks it doesn't. But it's one round at a time, one shot at a time, like we always say.

Q. Vijay got an exemption to the U.S. Open today. Is it surprising?
ADAM SCOTT: No, not really, I guess. I mean, I think that's fair. He's probably worthy of that exemption, absolutely. He's been a top player for so long. Three majors. So I think that's fair enough that they give him that.
LARRY LIVSEY: I wonder if you'd share your thoughts about the Presidents Cup being in your home country in '12 and then coming here in '13.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's exciting to go back to Australia. Obviously, it's a team that I really desperately want to be on. You know, it might be a good chance. I'm not going to say anything too much, but it might be a good chance for the internationals to get a bit of a leg up on the Americans and maybe win the Presidents Cup.
I was saying yesterday, because of the Presidents Cup talk at the moment, it's been pretty disappointing that I've been on four teams and not a winning one. It's a shame. I've been on that one that tied, but it's not quite the same.
So I think we desperately, desperately will want to win at Royal Melbourne. So that's exciting because Greg is going to captain it again, and I think it's going to be a great event. It's going to be really big from Australia, coming from an Australian point of view, big for our game down there.
We still need big boosts like that to keep golf developing in our country. I remember it's still a small country with 20-something million people. We need big things to happen for golf.
So it's exciting, and it's great. It's coming here for the next one. I think what a great venue. It will be good we all kind of know the course a little bit, too.
So maybe there are advantages of knowledge of the golf course, but I think it's a great venue to host a tournament like that. It's a tough, demanding golf course, but it's also a course that is exciting as well. You know, we see a lot of great things happen out there during the tournament, and match play, that will be even more the case. And it's got a Ryder Cup before, so it certainly can stand up to what these events need.

Q. You would be 18, I guess, the last time this event was there. You wouldn't have been at Royal Melbourne that week?
ADAM SCOTT: I was actually in college in America. I watched it from college.

Q. I thought you were in college for like only a month? That was the month?
ADAM SCOTT: That was the leftover.

Q. MGM sports book?

Q. You mentioned that in the past the putter has been the big down fall in your game. Playing here, is this kind of the test to see if you've really got it going with how difficult these greens are?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I said this year it has been the downfall certainly. I mean, I don't know. It wasn't the worst year until Texas, but it let me down this year.
I think, yeah, this will be a great test. I'm really excited because these are very pure bentgrass greens, generally rolling really fast. You hit a good putt, and it's got a great chance of going in. If you hit a poor putt, it's probably going to miss. It rolls so true.
So I'm excited because I feel like I'm rolling it great. Everything feels good still, and I'm looking forward to getting out there, and I've done it here before where you start making putts, you can make a lot because they are such good greens.

Q. I'm just curious about one more thing. When you were going through your kind of a bad patch last summer-ish and looked like you were playing fine but there would be one, maybe two odd shots that went sideways. Was that the greatest test of confidence you've ever faced? Standing over a shot, when you're hitting them mostly where you're looking but there's always that one odd one that would creep in, to keep plugging ahead?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it was --
Q. Trying to forget it, I know. Only when it was out of bounds.
ADAM SCOTT: It was bizarre because most of them were going okay, like you said, but then one from nowhere would go so far offline. I didn't really know what was going on. And eventually, it was lack of confidence that crept in because it kept happening.
So I think here was about as low as I was on the golf course last year. It was a pretty miserable couple of days, which was a shame. But I don't know, it was -- it's horrible to play like that on these kind of courses because you're just punished so severely for your errant shots. You know, you can really embarrass yourself. So it's not nice.
Hopefully, it's behind me.

Q. How much did that make you better?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I think --
Q. To have made it through that and moved on.
ADAM SCOTT: I think I'm in the first step of making it through that. Certainly, I'm playing in a much better standard now than I was then. But I think in the long run it's really going to show up, all the things that I've dealt with and learned and kind of put behind me and moved through is going to show up in my game over the next six months or a year or five years.
You know, I think I can be a much, much better player than I was before I even went on to when I was playing my best.

Q. When did you first see the light at the end of the tunnel? Do you recall a moment?
ADAM SCOTT: You know, it was on and off after this week. I mean, Memorial was pretty low, and it was on and off. I played okay at the U.S. Open, and I finished fourth at the Scottish Open. It's so funny. I mean, I can quickly say this, but, you know, I was one shot kind of every week from being okay.
I missed the cut at the Masters by one. I missed the cut at the Players by one. I missed the cut at the British Open by one. I mean, there's tournaments over the weekend, if you turn it around, you could go a long way from moving in the right direction.
I felt like I lost so much confidence by missing the cut by one each week rather than just making it and having, well, I finished 25th or 40th. You really don't feel that bad. But you miss the cut by one, you may as well miss by ten. You're not playing.
I was so close all the time, but I lost a lot of confidence from that. But I can tell you one shot turned everything around for me, and that was a 7 iron on my 36th hole at the Singapore Open last year. And I hit it to a foot. I thought I had to make a par to make the cut, but I had to make a birdie in the end, and I hit it to a foot and made the birdie and made the cut. I was playing good, and I nearly missed the cut again.
Then I had a great weekend and finished third.

Q. Was it a particularly difficult shot, or was it just the circumstances?
ADAM SCOTT: No. I mean, I wasn't -- I was on the other side of the draw. I had to wait and see the cut. But it was a really nice shot. It wasn't particularly hard either. It was just a 7 iron. But it was that shot that got me to play the weekend, and I played great over the weekend and shot mid-60s both rounds and finished third in the tournament, rather than missing the cut by one again and not being able to play and feeling like my game is nowhere. I think that shot really turned everything around.

Q. You played well at Liberty National, too, I think.
ADAM SCOTT: I played okay there. It was up and down through -- after Memorial. I was playing okay, but I was scrappy. I was trying hard. Play bad at the PGA, looks like you're playing terrible, no idea what I'm doing. Scrapped around, worked hard at Liberty National. But it was working hard for 72s and 71s, and there was no chance of shooting 66.
So I eventually started playing well in Singapore there, and then I've played well since, I feel. I've had better weeks since then.
LARRY LIVSEY: Thanks for coming in.

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