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May 29, 2013

Adam Scott


DOUG MILNE:  We'd like to welcome Adam Scott to the interview room here at the Memorial Tournament.  Adam, thanks for joining us for a few minutes.  Making your 8th start, I believe, here at the Memorial Tournament this week.  You've had a chance to see the golf course.  And with that, just some comments on that and being back here at the Memorial.
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, it's obviously great to be back here.  The course is perfect, as it usually is.  And we just hope that the weather is favorable this week, and we don't get too much rain.  It's always a shame when it rains out here and it softens up.
But it's presented beautifully, obviously there have been some changes around the clubhouse, good to familiarize with them before we come back for The Presidents Cup.  But it's looking good.  I'm looking forward to this week.  I feel my game is in good shape and touched back on the ground now and ready to put myself back into contention, and get the momentum happening before the U.S. Open.

Q.  How has your life changed since Augusta?
ADAM SCOTT:  It hasn't really.  It's more demanding when I come to a golf tournament, but other than that there's no difference.  I've been home a lot enjoying some time at home and getting some practice done.  But other than that it's just been quite a nice few weeks.  It doesn't get old having‑‑ being congratulated for winning the Masters, so I've enjoyed that very much.

Q.  What's the best that you can remember yourself playing here and in light of what you did at the Masters and the way you're playing now, coming into the tournament do you feel your chances are better now than they've ever been?
ADAM SCOTT:  I think my game is in as good of shape as it's ever been.  But I think the best round of golf I ever played was here.  I think it was a Friday in 2006, I shot 62.  I think it was the best score by five that day.  It was an incredible round of golf.  And it was one of those should have, could have been betters.  But it was a memorable round for me.  I thought it was really, really good.  The rough was long and the course was playing tough.  So I think the course sets up well for me and my game is in good shape.  I'll be looking to take advantage of that trying to put myself in position over the weekend.

Q.  I understand you played Merion.  What were your thoughts about it?  How do you think an Open will play there?  I heard Rory was picking your brain today at breakfast, what did you tell him?
ADAM SCOTT:  It's a tough one.  I think it's a course that a lot of knowledge will go a long way.  I think as a member it's probably a really enjoyable course to play because you know the little bits and pieces of the course so well.
So somehow we need to learn that in about‑‑ for me I've played two rounds there.  I'm probably going to play another five.  So somehow in seven rounds, I need to have the local knowledge of a member who's played there for 40 years.
It's a great golf course.  It's a bit fiddley is what I've come to so far, but that opinion could change next time I play just because you don't see where the ball finishes off all your tee shots and there's camber on the fairways and some movement on the fairways that make it fiddley.
So the rough is thick and lush, and hopefully they get some good weather and it dries out.  It's going to be demanding.  There are opportunities out there, for sure.  But you have to hit good shots to give yourself those opportunities.  And then there are some very, very tough holes, too.

Q.  How important is it for you to play a golf course like this, which probably has some similar characteristics to Merion in terms of grasses and feel.  Like tennis players play clay before the French Open, does that factor in or would you play here no matter what?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, generally I put my schedule on courses I like to start with; that's the first thing that I'm going to go there with a good attitude and this is a good golf course.  But I absolutely agree with what you say, some courses, unlike any others, there are some unique courses, but the rough here is something that I think is really good preparation, although you don't want to miss too many greens here this week.  It's quite good to miss a few.
It's the first time this year we've been in grass like this, rough like this.  And from what I've seen at Merion you're going to be in that, for sure.  Having a week of playing out of it here can certainly just get you set for what you're in for going to Merion.

Q.  Two questions, if you don't mind, and congratulations for winning the Masters.  When you look at the two tee start for the U.S. Open, what is going to be the difficulties of the guys starting on 1 compared with 10, if your game is just a little bit off?
ADAM SCOTT:  They're starting on 11 at the U.S. Open this year.

Q.  11, sorry.
ADAM SCOTT:  No, I think 1 and 2 is, not to give you false hope around there, but it kind of eases you into what's ahead, certainly.  But there's danger on every hole at the U.S. Open and at Merion, I think.
But 11 and 12 are not their two toughest holes.  11 is crucial to hit the fairway but it's a wedge into the green if you do the same with 12.  I don't think it's going to play too big of a factor, I don't think.

Q.  And secondly, with stories last week your name was affiliated with the group that's retained a lawyer on anchoring, how should we interpret that in terms of your intentions?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, my intention is just to get all the information given to me possible from the PGA Tour.  And just really, for me, like anyone else in a business, to have some professional guidance on this issue.  That's all it is, to make sure I get all the information that's possible.  And I don't think I have the ability to get that or ask the right questions, necessarily.  I'm not a lawyer.  And that's not my area of expertise.  So I just want to get that information and make sure that my views are expressed to the Tour and that's that.  There's no intention of filing suit or making problems.  But this is a business and I'm treating it professionally and I have professional counsel to do that.  Just like I'm sure the Tour has professional counsel when they make decisions about things or the USGA or R&A, for that matter.  They wouldn't do this without professional help either, so that's all it is.

Q.  Speaking of professional guidance, what was the evolution of your current management setup?  Your name came up a lot when Rory's decision regarding Horizon became public?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, I've always had my own office and I've had different arrangements over the years.  But since about 2003, I've always had my own office running my affairs.  And at different times I've had deals with different people to assist in that.
It is an evolution because everything is always changing and I'm changing as a person and as a player and my needs.  And the way I want to be managed changes with the way I think about things, as I mature maybe‑‑ or not mature.  But I've always been lucky.
But I kind of somewhat based my early philosophy off Greg Norman who had his own management all the time‑‑ not all the time, but once he left IMG, he took it all under his own roof.  And the way he put it to me is he controlled his own destiny in that area.  And that's something that I've always taken to heart and tried to do the best I can.  But it isn't always as easy as you think.  I think I've got a very good setup going for me now so I'm very happy with that.

Q.  Can I ask a quick follow‑up, we think that when you make a lot of money that we see all the advantages, but is there a disadvantage to it in so much as it does complicate your life or how much does it complicate your life when you have to make these decisions for which you are maybe not an expert?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, I think there's two things to that.  It depends if you're putting money as a priority in the decision making.  And then it can complicate things a lot if you're not, then it shouldn't complicate things much.
But secondly, I think the toughest thing for a golfer or myself has been you're very young and you have quite a lot of people‑‑ if you're the head of this ship, you have quite a lot of people asking for your direction who work for you, whether it's your manager, your caddie, your coach, your trainer, your psychologist, whoever you have on your team, they need direction from you.  And when you're young and you're just a junior golfer who goes to college and then play professionally, you don't necessarily have the training to know how to handle designating tasks to all these people.
I think it's a very difficult transition, and something that takes some time because everyone needs to know what their role is and that's not easy for a young person to do.  So it's something that you have to learn fairly quickly, even.  If that is ten years, that is still a quick learning process, to be somebody controlling, you know, with Rory, it's a pretty big company, I think.  It seems to be generating a lot of money.

Q.  Has Rory talked to you or sought your advice on how you set up shop?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, no.

Q.  Just ball‑striking?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, just about Merion today, that's it (laughter).

Q.  Looking to the Presidents Cup, this golf course hosted a Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, several amateurs, obviously it's built to be a stroke play championship course.  But what properties does this golf course have that makes it a decent or very good match play course?  Is it the amount of water, the sequence of holes, what is it about it?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, a good golf course is just a good golf course.  I don't think it matters if you play stroke play or match play on it, it's going to be a good course.  This has elements of that, like you said it's got some water holes.  There's risk and reward on the par‑5s with water, which always makes it interesting.
16, I think will be an interesting hole because a lot of matches are pivotal at that point, and now with the new design there, with water in front of the green it's a tough, tough hole.
Like I say, I just believe this is a good golf course.  It would be good with any competition on it.

Q.  He stole my question.  But I'll go with another one.  Talk about your excitement level for The Presidents Cup and representing the world in the fall.
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, I think it's a big year for the Internationals is my feeling.  This is a big opportunity for us.  I've played on five teams.  I've never won a Presidents Cup.  I'm tired of getting beaten and I've expressed that to captains and the players on the team.  So my motivation is very high.  I think this is a good chance for the Internationals.  Most of us who are on the team have played this golf course a lot.  And I think other than the crowd factor, we're starting on a bit of a level playing field, at least with the golf course.  So I think that's a good starting point for us.  And it's time for the Internationals to get one on the board here and make this a real competition.

Q.  You mentioned you're going to have to learn as much about Merion as quickly as you can.  How do you go about learning a new golf course like that, one you haven't seen before, charting yardages, greens.  What goes into seeing a golf course for the first time?
ADAM SCOTT:  For me, my two days I've spent so far at Merion, I played on my own the first day and I played with a couple members who are friends of mine the next day.  And it's just about trying to soak in as much as you can.  And I find that that's easier to go out of the tournament week than during the tournament week, there's so many distractions out on the course during a practice round that I don't think you're absorbing everything the course is giving to you.
So getting rounds in beforehand I think is key, especially for Merion.  I'm still not comfortable with some of my lines off the tees.  I couldn't tell them off the top of my head, they're not locked in yet.  I need to play a few more times before I can feel like Thursday you could tee off without a yardage book.  That's the goal.  You'd like to tee off on Thursday without a yardage book and be able to play the course.  Then you've got a good level of understanding of the golf course.

Q.  Given your meticulous approach to all aspects of your career, could you give some detail about what your fitness regimen is, your workout regimen, and your approach to nutrition?
ADAM SCOTT:  It's always been a fairly big component for me.  I enjoy working out and I enjoy going to the gym and I enjoy being active and doing other sports, as well.
I've been lucky, I've worked with two really great trainers throughout my career who have very similar philosophies, come from the same kind of background and understand the movement of the golf swing and the repetitive nature of it and the negatives it can have on the body.  And they've been really good in giving me exercises that don't get me into bad positions and posture, I guess, and keeping me free to move and swing the club the way I want to or the way my coach would like me to make a change.
It's a mixture of everything, I like to go five days a week to the gym.  And I do some specific things, to me, that I need to do.  I need to train my legs hard because that's just the way it is.  If they're not firing then it affects my golf swing poorly.  So I do some strength stuff with that.  I do a lot of rotation stuff through my spine, which is very important for golf, as that's all we should be using to hit the golf ball.  And certain other exercises.  So I spend an hour in the gym five days a week, probably.

Q.  What about nutrition?
ADAM SCOTT:  Nutrition, I try and eat as well as I can.  But I certainly don't deny myself anything.  I just work out harder if I eat bad food.

Q.  As you think about and prepare for the U.S. Open, is anything different compared to your preparation for Majors in the past because now you have a Major in your pocket, is anything different in how you're feeling about things?
ADAM SCOTT:  Not yet.  It will be probably a good one for me to answer after Thursday's round at Merion.  But I'm not going to change my preparation or my plans.  I think that's been working effectively the last couple of years, so I'm trying to go about everything the same.  But I don't know until I tee off on Thursday at a Major now being a Major winner, I don't know if I'll feel different or not.  So I can answer that maybe that Thursday for you.

Q.  A couple of things.  One, has Stevie ever caddied at Merion that you're aware of?
ADAM SCOTT:  Not in the U.S. Open.  But he says he's been there before to caddie.  I don't know what he caddied in, maybe the member/member or something (laughter).  He didn't come with a tournament name for me.  Sorry, I'm not sure.

Q.  The other thing is, if I heard you correctly, you're going to be there, you're going to play seven rounds before you tee it up on Thursday?
ADAM SCOTT:  I would think so.  I've played two and I'll get Friday or Thursday the week before and play through the weekend.  That's another four or five.  I could go 36 a day one day there.

Q.  And that's not unusual for you in preparation?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, no.  I like to go in and spend time there the week before or as much as I can, really.  I'll do that at the Open, as well.  And just try and play the course as much as I can so I feel like I know the golf course.
I did that at Olympic last year and I felt‑‑ I didn't play the course with a yardage book, I just knew what to hit off every tee and all the different winds because you've hit enough shots.  And I felt Olympic was a course that you just need the front edge number to the green, and that's where you're going for, because the penalty of being over or above the hole was too severe.  So I just hit it to the front edge, it was really simple.
I think Merion is not quite as simple as that, but I'd like to feel like I could just‑‑ I don't have to look at my yardage book to know if I have to hit a 3‑ or 4‑iron off the tee.  You just know, like you're a member of the course.  That's the goal.

Q.  One last thing, Jack was talking about there was a question about how many drivers somebody might use there.  And Jack said if you're only going to use two, you're not going to probably win that golf tournament.  Do you feel like you have to hit X drivers off the tee?
ADAM SCOTT:  Absolutely.  There's short holes where you're hitting an iron and wedge in.  But the long holes are long.  18, you're going to have to hit a driver just to get it to the fairway.
Look, I think I'm going to hit six or seven drivers there.  I think the fairways are not that narrow.  They're fairly generous.  The rough is thick, but you're going to have to hit drivers to win, because I believe that if you're not, someone else will be, and one guy is good enough to hit a lot of fairways with their driver that week, and they're going to have a lot of wedges into greens.  And that's how you're going to create your opportunity to score.

Q.  Did you take a driver on any of the short holes?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, the 10th is 278 to the front edge.  And I played in the rain and 3‑wood was getting pin‑high, just to the right of the green.  You can't really hit it at the green, you can't see the green from the tee.  Only that one.
The other short holes, there's no room to force it way down there.  I think most guys are going to hit an iron and a wedge.  Some guys might try, but I don't think there's any room.  And you're not driving it, that's for sure, you're not hitting it on any other greens.

Q.  How severe is the miss on 10?
ADAM SCOTT:  I think it's pretty fair, to be honest, for such a short hole.  There is fescue grass, which only a few of the short holes have, and it's not really in play on the rest of the course.  But there is fescue grass.  A bad miss is going to be bad, you know.  But I think there's a fairly generous area for you to hit a 3‑wood up to the right edge of the green.
DOUG MILNE:  As always, we appreciate your time.

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