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April 9, 2011
ED HERLIHY: I would like to welcome Adam Scott to the podium. Adam is making his 10th Masters appearance and finished the third round with a 67 today. Adam, do you have any comments to make before we open up to questions?
ADAM SCOTT: No. Just happy to be here (smiling).
Q. When you look at that board you must be sort of pleased where you are.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's traditionally moving day here, and that's exactly what I needed to do today. You know, 67 around here any day is great, but Saturday, to move, it seems into contention at the moment, is a really good round of golf. I felt like I played okay the first two days. Just a little bit off.
But today, everything kind of fell into place. It was nice to get a bit of momentum going and keep it going for most of the round.
Q. Can you talk about some of your birdies today and what clubs you hit into the greens?
ADAM SCOTT: I birdied the second, and I actually laid back off the tee with a 3-wood and then laid up with a 5-iron, because I was too far back to really go for it. I hit a lob-wedge in there to about 12 feet and made it.
I birdied the 5th and hit 3-wood and 8-iron in there to 15 or 20 feet I guess.
I birdied the 8th and I drove it in the bunker, laid up, and had a 9-iron in. Actually I think it one-bounced into the hole and just popped out to a couple of inches.
Birdied 11. That was a good birdie, a driver and an 8-iron and holed a good putt there, maybe 30 feet.
Eagled 13 with a driver and 6-iron and maybe only 6- or 7-foot putt.
15, I 2-putted from the right-hand side of the green, I don't know, it must be a long way, a hundred feet almost.
I bogeyed 16. I hit it in the bunker, right, with a 7-iron; or long, rather.
Birdied 17. I hit a lob-wedge in pretty close, four feet.
And then drove it in the fairway bunker on 18 and made bogey.
Q. You've mentioned frequently how much of an influence Greg Norman has been on your career; what's your relationship like with Jason, and are you at the point now where you're mentoring young guys maybe the same way that Greg did for you?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know, it's hard to mentor a guy who is beating me. (Laughter) Make he's got some advice for me.
I don't really think I'm at that point, but Jason and I know each other for a fair while now. At 23 or 22, I don't know, he's pretty young. He's already achieved so much. I think I should stay out of his way really and let him do what he's doing, because he's doing everything right it seems. He's got a good head on his shoulders, and obviously looks to me, from where I sit, he works very hard. He's passionate about it. So I think he's doing a lot of things right. I don't need to tell him too much.
Q. So earlier in the week you said this is the best-prepared that you'd been coming into a Masters. You start out with a 72; was it hard to get yourself positive after a flat start when everybody was going pretty low?
ADAM SCOTT: I was just trying to not get frustrated with myself, because I was feeling so good, and that's always a dangerous thing. I think expectations are high then.
So you know, I stayed really patient, and you know, going into the back nine yesterday, I know I'm right around the cut line, and it's never a nice place to be. And I played a really solid back nine yesterday and I was happy with that.
But still, the rhythm of my golf swing wasn't quite where I felt it in practice, and even in the practice rounds leading in. And I don't know why. It's just one of those things. Today it fell back into place and I really had control over the golf ball today.
I think I did a good job of not getting the frustrated seeing everyone go low, and again, just back fighting the momentum out there. I'm happy with that and patient paid off.
Q. I believe you switched to the long putter at Doral; is that correct?
ADAM SCOTT: The Match Play.
Q. Was that a difficult decision to come to, and how did you get there?
ADAM SCOTT: Not really. You know, after I saw some putts going in, it wasn't really hard to change.
I did a lot of practice with it before the Match Play. But certainly felt fairly comfortable right from get-go with it.
Q. You've been coming here since 2000; how important is it going to be for tomorrow to draw on that experience of ten, 11 years of playing here?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, that's one thing that's going for me going into tomorrow, I guess. I have played the course a lot. And certainly, this year, I feel like somewhat familiar with it going around the course, you know, knowing a lot of the putts and understanding where to miss it; leaving the ball in good spots. I think I've done that well last year and carried that on into this year. I think I've certainly played enough rounds of golf to almost understand everything here.
Q. And as a follow-up without getting too far ahead, what would it be like to be sitting here tomorrow night?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know, I think that's too far ahead. I can't even think about it. These guys have nine holes to play, and I really don't -- they always say the back nine -- the Masters starts the back nine on Sunday. I've got to get myself there first. I've got still at least another solid nine holes to play, well, before I've got a real chance.
Q. On Thursday, you shot even par and talked a little about your mind-set, and not quite really giving yourself any credit for even knowing what you wanted to do here or how to win; do you feel like maybe you've changed your mind-set a little bit since then or gotten into maybe a comfort zone with where you are here?
ADAM SCOTT: Last year I said it some way, I played so well tee-to-green here for the first time -- or maybe since my first year here, I played really well here and got more comfortable with the golf course.
I'm feeling more and more comfortable with it, and certainly putting nicely helps here. It's very hard to get it around this golf course, no matter how good you're hitting it, if you're not putting well, because it's very difficult putting here.
Q. Back to the putter real quick. What precipitated, how long had you thought about it and what led to the decision?
ADAM SCOTT: I hadn't really thought about it at all. I got home from Hawaii and my coach had a long putter and he had been practicing with it to see and said, "You should have a go" because he thought it would do good things for my rhythm and short stroke. The rhythm with the long putter is very nice, and that's something I was fighting in my putting with the short putter.
So I started practicing with it, and the more I practiced with it, the better it felt and the more putts I made and eventually it was a pretty easy decision that I should give it a run.
Q. You've had some injury setbacks; how much do you put it down to just bad luck and how much is just some of the things that athletes or people have to endure during a lifetime?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's part of it, certainly. I just have a very unstable kneecap, and I've lived my whole life with it. It's just something that -- a freak accident; it could pop out walking down the stairs here.
Fortunately I've really had no golf-related injuries which has been great. I've just had a couple of setbacks with my knee, so knock-on-wood, everything is fine.
I think everyone has times where they get injured, but I think I've only ever missed one tournament due to injury. I've been pretty lucky in my career.
Q. Growing up where you did, how powerful is the dream to win here? And do Australian players come here with a certain burden of history that they have to deal with?
ADAM SCOTT: I think for us growing up in Australia, I spent my whole childhood watching Greg play here and contend here, a lot. I think the whole country did. I mean, Greg was bigger than just golf in Australia. He was an icon down there and we all grew up watching him play here and compete.
So the dream of coming here and just playing is huge, and you know, to win even bigger, probably undescribable. It's something, one of the things that we haven't accomplished in Australian sport I guess. We are a strong sporting nation and we push our athletes hard. One day it's going to happen.
But you know, I don't think the guys here carry a burden. I think no one here is thinking there's a voodoo on us from Australia. (Laughter) I think it just hasn't happened. We are not a huge country but we certainly get our fair share of guys in this tournament every year it seems. But no one's got over the line yet.
But it's going to happen, and Jason's first time here and he's making a really great run at it.
Q. When you look at Rory and Jason, two guys who have been golfing prodigies for a long time and you remember when you were in that situation, what's mind-set when you're that good, that young, and you have all of these expectations?
ADAM SCOTT: I think these two guys are really -- you know, every generation learns from the one before, and I think these guys, they have something else that I feel like myself and a couple of the other guys might not have had.
You know, Rory's already contended so many times in these big events. He's really incredible. And Jason is really just getting his feet wet, and what a way to do it; shooting 64 at Augusta is amazing.
But yeah, everyone's just getting better and better from a younger age. There's so much more being put into the sport of golf from all aspects that you need: Physical, mental; everyone is understanding how to prepare better and everyone is really hungry and passionate for it.
I think we are going to keep seeing crops of young guys popping up.
Q. Your first Masters, obviously you finished Top-10. After that, not so good. Did you ever lose faith that you could be the one that would break that voodoo that we've just been talking about?
ADAM SCOTT: No, not really. I still certainly dream about that. But it's been a fair few years, and oddly enough, we haven't really had anyone in my time here seriously contending, I don't think.
Q. Stuey was one year.
ADAM SCOTT: Stuey was one year. For some reason it has not happened but it's nice to see a few of us up there this year. You know, one good round is all it is for Jason or maybe myself; Geoff. One good round, and an Aussie can earn this championship.
Q. Did you personally ever feel that this course didn't suit you? Like when you first came here, you thought it really did. Over the years, did you think this maybe wouldn't be a major?
ADAM SCOTT: No. I didn't think that. I was more lost as to why I wasn't playing my best golf at the majors. My record here isn't horrible, but never really in contention, always middle of the pack. It took me a long time to figure out why. I'm not bringing my best game into the majors, yet the week after or the week before, I can win. I've done that a fair few times. It's hard to figure out.
So you know, I think I'm getting a better understanding. Maybe I'm just a slow learner.
Q. What's the best lesson you learned from Greg Norman?
ADAM SCOTT: You know, I've got so much great advice from Greg. I think a couple of years ago, he showed a lot of faith in me in picking me for The Presidents Cup team. I think the message I got out that have was to believe in myself, or never stop believing in myself.
Because there were certain points in that year where I doubted myself. You know, didn't really have to say it, but I knew what he was trying to do. It really did turn things around for me. You know, the confidence I put back in myself and my game; to put me back on that big stage at The Presidents Cup where you can't really hide from anyone. You know, that was the start, the turning point; the start of the turning point for me and my game at the end of 2009.
Q. You mentioned earlier following Greg's career here a lot. You were old enough in '96 I'm sure to feel that, and I just wondered personally how much that stung; if you remember how hard that was, maybe just even for you, your friends watching.
ADAM SCOTT: That was very hard. Yeah, I don't know. I think there was almost tears at home that day. I can't tell you how big of an inspiration he's been and a hero he's been to all of the golfers at home my age.
The first Masters I watched was '87, and although I had not spent my whole life watching, you know, that was even hard. I remember I got to stay home that morning from school in '87.
'96 was very hard to watch. So many people I knew by that point were close with Greg, as well; the guy, Charlie Earp, I remember seeing him, and he was just -- everyone was devastated. We all really felt for Greg.
I guess the one thing I took from all that was he came in and he spoke to the press and I think we all learned he carried himself like a real champion and that's why we all loved Greg.
Q. Can you talk about the scoring conditions just being ideal today, how much fun that is, and maybe a little more heat this week than we've seen in recent years?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's nice. The weather this week's been great. The ball was really going a long way today. It's a little warmer, and you know, certainly conditions are very fair out there. The wind is not quite as windy as the last two days. And it's playing very fair. I was expecting it to be a little tricky out there today. I could imagine the green speeds getting faster, but they have kept them at an even pace for the last couple of days.
It's ideal scoring conditions.
Q. I hate to bring this up again, but you said you stayed home the next day from school in '87 is; was it because you were up so late or because you were heartbroken?
ADAM SCOTT: It's on in the morning at home.
Q. So you were skipping school?
ADAM SCOTT: (Laughing).
Q. If you could have a message to the kids who are going to do that tomorrow? (Laughter).
ADAM SCOTT: I'm not promoting skipping school. What did Bob Hawke say that one time? (Laughing).
ED HERLIHY: Thank you very much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports