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March 5, 2014

Adam Scott


KELLY BARNES:  Please welcome Adam Scott.  You are coming off a T‑12 last week and you have a couple Top‑10s under your belt.  Why don't give us your thoughts heading into your first WGC start this season.
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, I think somehow I eeked out a good result last week that was certainly a demanding golf course, and a test of every aspect of the game.  A few mistakes throughout the week cost me big numbers but that can happen there.  Showed me what I need to tighten up for this week, so the last few days I've been working on a couple things with my iron play but everything else felt really good.
My short game felt great last week, which I worked a lot on in my six‑week break, which is always nice to see.  The short game is sharp.  But hopefully now the rest of the game will fall into place and I won't have to lean so much on the short game and can kind of take advantage of the way I like to hit the ball.

Q.  You have seen the course, I take it, can you just describe the difference in it and the degree of difficulty, because some of those that re‑designed the course on a scale of one to 10 made it a 9.
ADAM SCOTT:  He put the degree of difficulty at a 9?  Gil?  Obviously there are some big changes to the green complexes.  The routing is the same.  Most holes have a different look but there are a couple that play somewhat similarly until you get to the greens.  The greens are much larger with much more undulation, and that's obviously going to be the challenge this week, I think.
At times we are going to be faced with a lot of lag putting, with a lot of break across the putts.  So that could be tricky because it's everyone's first look at the greens and nobody has any great knowledge of them.  But because it's new and firm and fiery, that's kind of tough now, as well.  It's longer; the par 5s are going to play different, and I think you might not see as many birdies or eagles on them.
So for sure, it's a more difficult golf course from what I've seen.  The rough somehow seems to be quite nasty even though it's new.  I don't quite now how they have managed to get the grass like that so quickly.  But that's going to be a challenge, as well.  But certainly you've got a big target to shoot at, but the green, getting it close is another thing.

Q.  Your off‑course regimen, how much of it is strength‑based versus flexibility oriented and how has that changed as you've gotten older, maybe the percentages?
ADAM SCOTT:  It's tough to say.  I think I'm quite a hyper‑mobile person joint‑wise naturally, I just am.  So I have quite a lot of range in my shoulders and these kind of things.  So I need some strength to kind of control that.
So it's all a balance for every individual.  For me, I try and balance strength and flexibility.  I spend most of the time doing strength work and trying to get the muscles to activate so they do what they are meant to do and control my shoulders which are swinging the club at whatever kind of force that is.
And I make adjustments, yeah.  My back is not as flexible as it was when I was 20 so I stretched my back a little bit more than I used to and just used to roll out of bed and go straight to the first tee.  It's a bit more of a process now.  I've talked a lot last year about how I get up three hours before every tee time to warm up and ride the bike and that's just part of my routine because I feel like I loosen up and I'm in a good position to tee off on the first hole, warm and ready to go.
So you know, your body is constantly changing as you get older and you have to try and make the best adjustments to your routine to suit, and that's what I try and do.
For me, strength has always been a little bit more important but certainly to keep the rotation in my spine, I do a little bit more work on my thoracic rotation these days.

Q.  Are you aware that you can go to No. 1 in the world this week, and if so, will that provide a little extra motivation for you?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, absolutely it will.  It is for sure.  I've said the whole time, I wouldn't really think about it when it came to this and it's impossible not to think about it.
It would be a dream come true to make it to that point, but it's not necessarily probable, either.  If you look at stats and numbers, there's no reason why I'm just going to roll out and win this week, but there's great motivation for me to do that.
I'm very comfortable with where my game is at, and certainly believe it's in a position where I can put myself in contention this week and if I got there, the motivation to win would be that much more than just winning a trophy; but win a tournament and achieve the No. 1 ranking potentially with that, would be a great way to do it, I think.  It would be a great story for myself, anyway.

Q.  A lot of people win a breakthrough victory like you did at the Masters last year capitalize on it with endorsements and appearances, things like that and you seem to have taken a rather subdued approach.  Can you just talk about your approach and why you came up with that?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, I've had a plan; I try and plan most things.  You can't plan everything, but you've got to try and have a plan, because I felt like I was close to this breakthrough and I wanted to know what was going to happen afterwards.  I wanted it to be the start of what I want to accomplish in my career and that kind of took precedence over any extracurricular activities like events, sponsorships, endorsements and all these kind of things.  I didn't want to break the routine I was in, because I was enjoying playing good golf a lot more than I enjoyed picking up other sponsors, I would think.
So I wanted that to be the start of my part in golf history and I didn't think I needed any extra distractions.  I've already committed the amount of time I've prepared to commit to sponsors and obligations.

Q.  When you walk away from the game for two or three weeks or a month or a month and a half, what's the hardest thing to get back and get sharp, is it the short game, the putting, the accuracy‑‑ not that you're inaccurate, but for golfers here in the United States, half of the country is still under ice and snow and they don't get to play until maybe after the Masters if they are lucky so they have been house bound since December?
ADAM SCOTT:  That's a lot longer than three weeks.

Q.  You can't even find your grip.  For you, at your level, what goes first and what do you have to work on first?
ADAM SCOTT:  It's tough, because I mean, I really had three weeks where I didn't play or practice much.  I played a couple nine holes in three weeks.  It doesn't feel like that long because I think I play and practice a lot throughout the year.
It's probably the short game.  But to the first couple days, it feels pretty rusty and you kind of try and remember where you were, and it only takes a couple of days, and I think it's all relative.  For somebody who plays and practices a lot, that's fair.  For someone who is working a job 9 to 5 gets to play a Saturday round and then gets four months away from the game, I don't think it's fair that they expect to find it in a couple days.  It might take them a little longer than that.
But, the breaks can be a refreshing thing for anyone.  Sometimes a break is the best thing for you, and you come back fresh and it all feels good.  But, for me, I think the short game is certainly the one that required the most work over the last few weeks to get ready to come back.

Q.  Before you started the Australian summer swing, you talked about the No. 1 ranking in the world, and you seemed to think that it was a long way off to have an opportunity to do that.  Because of your success down there, do you feel like this has come a little bit sooner than you expected maybe a few months ago?
ADAM SCOTT:  Maybe.  I don't know how much weight that carried down there, but it is certainly a little bit sooner than I expected.  But, so far, it seems guys at the top of the rankings have played a fairly light schedule so no one has been really able to run away and Tiger has only played a couple of events.  So he has not run away with a lot of points so far this year.
So here we are, and it's an incredible opportunity for me.  I mean, it's taken me a long time to get to this point.  I'd love to go out and play great this week and have you guys thinking of writing stories and me thinking of being the No. 1 player the in world when I wake up next Monday.  That would be amazing.  So for me, it's all upside this week.

Q.  With the No. 1 ranking up for grabs, are you liking the extra spice of playing with Tiger for the first two rounds?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, I think we're doing the 1,2,3 pairing.  I've been a part of that a few other times at U.S. Opens.   It's a fun pairing.  I think it's a good way to do the pairing occasionally for the game of golf, because for whatever reason, you don't get 1,2,3 always Saturday and Sunday playing against each other like it seems a little more often in tennis, predictable top four seeds are going to go through to the semifinals.  I think it is absolutely a good pairing with the No. 1 up for grabs.
Yeah, it's something‑‑ I don't know how Tiger feels about it but it's obviously a position he's pretty comfortable with for a long time throughout his career, and I can assure you from knowing him just a little bit, it's a position he probably wouldn't want to give up.  So I don't know that we're going to be trying to play each other head‑to‑head because we know this field is a lot bigger than the two of us.

Q.  How big of a test is it for you this week to play well on this course leading into the Masters?
ADAM SCOTT:  I think from what I've seen so far of this course, I think it's actually quite a nice lead‑up to the Masters.  Not that the greens are exactly the same, but they are more similar than they were in the past.  There's a little more undulation and there are some severe breaking putts out there.  And I think certainly as we see this course mature and grow in over the next few years, this is going to be a really nice lead‑up event to the Masters, and being able to hit some putts that are not too dissimilar to what we face at Augusta.
And certainly around the greens, as well, with some more severe slope and run‑off and undulation.  So I think a lot of guys will be excited to be playing this event this week and in the future and kind of sharpening up that short game with the Masters in the back of our mind.

Q.  Back to the No. 1 ranking.  Obviously Tiger has been there for about 400 weeks in his life and Greg, the only other Australian to be there the 300 weeks at No. 1.  Can you envisage yourself being in the No. 1 position for that long?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, I haven't even really thought about it, Ben, to be honest with you.  I don't know what I would feel like.  I think it's a tough position to be in.  Thinking about it, as much as we all want to achieve to get there, but what they have done to maintain that level is incredible, however many it is for Tiger, and the amazing drive that they have.
I don't know, if that happens, if you get there and that just happens to you and you just don't want to give it up; if that's how you feel, then maybe that's what will happen.  I can't even think about that, 300 weeks, that's, what, six years?  I'll try and get through today.

Q.  Statistically, the 18th, obviously one of the hardest holes on the PGA TOUR.  What is it that makes it so difficult?
ADAM SCOTT:  The drive is about ten yards wide (laughter) and if you miss, then you're looking at double‑bogey.  It is; it's just such a tough tee shot.  It's probably the iconic hole of this golf course and probably still will be no matter what happens on some of the new holes this week.
So much depends‑‑ the outcome of the tournament comes down to the 18th hole a lot, but there's just not a lot of room to hit the ball off the tee.  There's no real bail‑out.  I mean, if you hit it right, then you know, it's potluck whether you've got a shot to the green or not.  You probably don't.  There seem to be a lot more trees over there now than there were last year.  It's a little bit wind dependent, but yesterday in the practice round, there was no chance I could carry the water on the left.
So effectively, the fairway becomes extremely narrow and that's why it's so demanding.
KELLY BARNES:  Thank you.

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