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April 2, 2012

Adam Scott


ROB JOHNSTON:テつ Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.テつ It is indeed always a great pleasure to welcome Adam Scott back to the interview room here at Augusta.
In your 10th appearance at Augusta last year, you had your best finish ever, finishing second, and on the weekend you shot 67‑67 on Saturday and Sunday, quite an impressive performance.テつ You went on to win the Bridgestone Invitational last summer and played in your fifth Presidents Cup.
Thank you very much for being with us today and talking about your preparations for this week.テつ And would you also tell us how ten years of experience has factored into your preparations.
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Well, preparations have been good.テつ I've done very similar to the same preparation as I did last year, which involved not playing a tournament round since Doral, but have been doing some specific practice for what I think this course needs.
I was up here about ten days ago after the Tavistock Cup for a couple of days and got familiar with the course and the way the holes go and the shapes of shots you need to hit; went away back home and practiced.テつ And then I was up over the weekend playing, also.
So I've had plenty of rounds already.テつ I played 18 holes today.テつ I think I'm familiar with the course again and probably should be after ten years of playing here, too.テつ But obviously last year was a great experience for me here, and excited to be back, and been waiting 12 months for another opportunity of getting in there on Sunday.

Q.テつ Considering how well you did last year, how much pressure do you feel going in this year?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ I don't feel too much pressure at all.テつ I'm certainly probably not considered one of the favorites.テつ There are a lot of other guys who have been playing very well so far this year.
But I'm playing well myself.テつ My game is in great shape.テつ I haven't played that much, but this will be a good week to start posting some results.テつ I think I take a lot of confidence out of last year in how I played the golf course and how I played on Sunday on the back nine in particular.
So I'll be looking to draw on that experience and hopefully keep that momentum going.

Q.テつ Just on that, have you preferred being under the radar, so to speak, considering you were tied second, a lot of people thought you were going to win this thing last year, and you're coming in, everyone talks Tiger, Rory, everyone else.テつ Do you prefer it under the radar, or do you want to be talked about?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ I don't think it really makes a difference.テつ It only matters how I feel about how my game is and not what people are saying.
You know, I've come in here after winning Houston one year.テつ But that didn't propel me to greatness here, and I was confident with my game.
I feel my game is in great shape.テつ I've certainly done enough work in the last few weeks to have it ready to be competitive here, and, you know, now I just have to go and do that.

Q.テつ You talked about your experience of Augusta, but with Steve Williams on the bag for the first time, what sort of dimension is that going to add to your game?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Well, look, it doesn't matter where I go, it seems, with Steve.テつ He's got a lot of experience everywhere.テつ He's been caddying 30‑plus years, and he's obviously been very successful everywhere.テつ He's got a great knowledge of this golf course, and hopefully at some point there's going to be that time when his knowledge shines through for us.
You know, it's the same every week.テつ He's a very motivated guy and out here to compete.テつ So fortunate to have a caddie like that after having a good caddie in Tony, as well.

Q.テつ Would he be more motivated coming back to this course compared to other venues you go to?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ I think, look, it's no secret everyone looks forward to coming back here every year.テつ It's a unique major championship, that we come back to the same place every year.
I don't think you have to question anyone's motivation in the field this week (laughing).

Q.テつ It's been more than a year since you went to the long putter.
ADAM SCOTT:テつ About a year.

Q.テつ So you have a pretty solid body of work there.テつ What, in terms of performance, what kind of putts are you making now, what distance that might not have been going in before, and has that putter helped you on these greens?テつ Obviously it did in the final round last year.
ADAM SCOTT:テつ I think last year here was the best I've ever putted at any tournament.テつ I 3‑putted the first green of the tournament, and I didn't have a 3‑putt after that for the next 71 holes, which is a good effort around here considering how I had gone in the past.
But, yeah, look, I'm far more consistent putting with this.テつ My stats in every category went up last year.テつ If you're a stats person and you want to look at that, you can look; every one improved.テつ I feel I make so many more putts from ten feet and in than before, so that's great for my confidence.テつ Every time I walk out on the course, I feel like I can have a good score no matter how I'm hitting it.

Q.テつ Is there a way to gauge how much more you know and how much better you know this course than from the first time you saw it?テつ What comes from accumulated knowledge here?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ You can have all the knowledge you want, but you've still got to have some good results and hit some good shots.テつ My first year here I finished ninth, and I didn't think much; what's the big deal.テつ (Laughter.)
But then probably got a few slaps in the face after that.テつ But certainly there is a developing level of comfort when I come back, and even coming back ten days ago and playing a social round of golf here, just felt very comfortable on the golf course and felt I had things under control.テつ Because if you have a few tough rounds out here, and I have out here, and it gets away from you, you actually feel a little embarrassed because it looks so ugly.
But that's what this course can do:テつ it can break your confidence quickly if you're a little bit off.テつ That's not a good feeling.テつ I think it took me probably a little while to bring my game back and my level of confidence back on the course to get a result like last year.

Q.テつ What did you learn‑‑ you didn't play a lot going into Doral.テつ How did what happened at Doral and how you played there, what did you learn that you can bring into this tournament, having had some time away from tournament golf?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Yeah, look, Doral was a good indicator of where I think my game is at.テつ L.A., I can get no indication from that, although I played quite well for the first week out in 12 weeks.テつ But Doral was good.テつ I went out and played some really great golf in tough conditions the first round, played okay the next round, and just didn't make any putts on the weekend.テつ Everyone kind of went by me.
But seeing a good performance and the work I had put in before Doral pay off with a couple of good rounds was all I needed to know that my game is pretty much where it needs to be to compete.テつ With a couple less putts on the weekend, I think I would have been right in the mix at Doral.
Similar kind of preparation here.テつ I think it's right where it needs to be, and hopefully I'll make the putts on the weekend again like last year.

Q.テつ So you feel somewhat vindicated by not having the strategy of over‑playing and being fresh?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ I think being fresh is very important and getting enough time to prepare properly, especially for major championships, is important.テつ If you look at the best players in history, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger certainly have done that over their stretch and were very successful at it.
And I don't think I need to play a lot to be competitive and be sharp.テつ You can get here, be fresh, and if you're fresh in your mind, you can be sharp out there and not make the poor mistakes.

Q.テつ Does the fact that you and Jason came so close last year add to any burden of becoming the first Australians to win here?テつ And what would it mean to win it for the rest of the country?テつ What would be the reaction?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Well, I don't think it adds to a burden.テつ I think it makes the story a little juicier.テつ There's another line you can put in your stories:テつ in 2011 we came second, also, that year.
It's going to happen, for sure.テつ We have a lot of great players and we always have, and it's just not happened.テつ I think it's just coincidence that it has not happened.テつ One year someone is going to get across the line.テつ To be the first would be incredible for an Australian, because not only would you be the Masters Champion, but in Australia, there would be that little asterisk next to your name of the first, finally.
It's one of those sporting hurdles that no Australian has gotten over, and it may be one of the last ones for the sports that we play in our country, after Cadel Evans winning Tour de France last year.テつ Now the Masters has really gone beyond just golfers in Australia, too.テつ I think, thanks to Greg Norman and the years he played and the icon he is in Australia, he took golf beyond just the golfers and made it recognized by the whole Australian public.

Q.テつ What kind of party would they throw for you?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ I don't know.テつ But I would throw a good one.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ We heard from Webb Simpson earlier today, and he's playing for the first time.テつ What advice would you give to a guy that's looking at it for the first time?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ For Webb, it's kind of an odd situation.テつ He's one of the hottest players in the world over the last 12 months and playing his first Masters, he should be confident.テつ When I first came here, what is all this talk of a tricky course, and I played well around it.
Obviously you want to enjoy the experience, but he's in a position where he has a legitimate chance to win this golf tournament the way he plays.テつ I don't think he should treat it any different than anything else.テつ He's just got to go out and play some good golf, and that will get a result for him.

Q.テつ When you look back to what happened last year, you came so close.テつ Have you learnt anything about yourself as a person and as a player in the time and months subsequent?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Maybe as a player I learned a few things.テつ I think it was the first time late on a Sunday that I had a chance.テつ I walked to the 17th tee with a one‑shot lead and parred the last two holes, which I thought was pretty good on those holes.テつ And normally, that is pretty good.
But what happened last year was extraordinary by Charl.テつ I'm not disappointed with anything I did that day.テつ I think under the pressure, I played some really good golf coming in, and that's what I learned about myself and where my game is at and where my head is at as a player.
I think that was‑‑ for a lot of things, I had worked hard at my game and it's on the right track, but also, you know, a certain level of maturity, as well, I guess, in my game.テつ Seeing that it was really my first opportunity to win a major, I guess there was ten years' experience in there somewhere.

Q.テつ Over ten years, have you changed your pre‑sort of preparation in any significant way over those ten years with that kind of experience?テつ Have you modified how you're preparing for this tournament, how many rounds you'll play this week, for example?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Certainly last year was a noticeable change.テつ I didn't play for three weeks before.テつ I practiced at home and then I came up on the Thursday the week before and I played Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and that was it.テつ I didn't play a practice round after that.
I got my rounds in early and got familiar.テつ Like I said, just seeing all the shots you need to hit around here, it's very extreme undulation and movement on the golf course.テつ It's not just straight down the fairway, straight on the green kind of stuff here.
I somewhat have replicated that this year.テつ I didn't come in quite as early but still had a lot of time at home practicing.テつ I came up ten days ago and played some rounds.テつ So I feel like I've got enough rounds in after today that I just need to do a little bit of practice and work around the greens the next couple days.
In the past, it's different.テつ When you're 21, you can play golf every day and every tournament and you've got that energy to keep going.テつ But after ten years of playing a lot of tournaments and everything, you've got to pace yourself a little bit.テつ Certainly to be able to peak for the right week requires different preparation.テつ So those couple of weeks at home, hitting a lot of balls and making sure that it's going to hold up for four days under major championship pressure is important.
I think before it was a bit of a lottery, whether my game would show up.テつ I think now I know it's going to show up.

Q.テつ I know what Charl did last year was kind of extraordinary, but did you replay the final round in your head in the days, weeks, months after?テつ Maybe a little too passive or a shot here you wish you had taken a different approach on?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Look, I hit one bad shot on Sunday, and that was on 15th.テつ I blocked a 5‑iron right and ended up making par.テつ It's hard to be critical of that.テつ I stood up on the next and hit a great 7‑iron to a foot or so and made a birdie.
It's hard to change anything, because in the end, I was two shots behind, and I can't find two more shots out there.テつ I didn't birdie the par 5s on Sunday, but I birdied some other holes which I wouldn't expect to.
So, you know, I just got beaten last year.テつ It was just good golf, great golf, and I don't feel like I lost.テつ But if you're going to lose, I'd rather lose like that.

Q.テつ You mentioned again, Charl's finish, obviously history in the making.テつ Do you think that will change the approach of other people in the mix on Sunday?テつ When you said you thought a par, par finish would be fine, will that now change the approach of golfers?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Well, maybe.テつ But I think you might be running the gauntlet if you feel like you need to get aggressive on 17 and 18.
Look, if you've got to make birdies, then you know, Jason was a couple behind, and he had to make birdies and he played the holes well.テつ But he made good putts.テつ If you get aggressive into the 17th green and the pin up on the top right and you go over the green, well, you'll be lucky to make bogey.
They are very difficult holes.テつ Charl played great shots at the most critical time, and every credit to him.テつ That's why he's practiced hard and that's why I've tried to practice hard the last two weeks, so hopefully I can hit the shot on my target on that 71st hole of the tournament.

Q.テつ Just curious if you had to spare 20 dollars, who would you put your money on this week?テつ Apart from yourself, of course.
ADAM SCOTT:テつ I mean, there are so many guys playing so well this year, and I think‑‑ you know, I think there could be a handful of guys.
I don't know, I think certainly Tiger has got to be in the mix.テつ He's playing well, and he's won four times here.テつ He knows what he's doing.テつ But you can say that about Phil, as well (laughing).テつ There's too many guys.テつ But someone can come up and surprise, and hopefully that's me (smiling).

Q.テつ Can Rory bounce back with what happened last year?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Oh, yeah, he's great.テつ He bounced back and won the U.S. Open and he's become a better player since then.テつ I mean, absolutely, Rory is a phenomenon, really.

Q.テつ If he had not bounced back the way he did at Congressional, would he be carrying scars this week, do you think?
ADAM SCOTT:テつ Maybe.テつ But he handled that better than anyone else could have probably.テつ Fantastic.
ROB JOHNSTON:テつ Adam, thank you very much for taking the time to be with us.

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