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ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY MASTERCARD


March 22, 2014


Adam Scott


ORLANDO, FLORIDA

JOHN BUSH:¬† We'd like to welcome Adam Scott into the interview room.¬† 1‑under par, 71.¬† I know it was a battle for you out there.¬† If we could get some comments from you on your round.
ADAM SCOTT:  It was a good fight back after a tough start, when I wasn't doing too much wrong, but I made the errors, myself.  This course is tough when you're on the back foot.  I was pretty pleased with the way I played the back nine.  I missed a couple of short par putts, which would have been nice to make.  But I'll have to make them tomorrow, because that's how you win events. 
JOHN BUSH:  Great putt on the last hole to keep the movement going.
ADAM SCOTT:  When it comes down to the last putt of the day it's always huge.  And it would have been a crime to bogey the last after hitting two really nice shots in there.  And at this stage one shot can go a long way.  So nice to roll that one in.

Q.  On the front nine when you were struggling a little bit, did you look at the leaderboard at all and see what happened to your lead?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, but I just got told that it was down to one, maybe, at a point.
But when you don't start birdie, birdie today, then you know the other guys have got nothing to lose and they're going for it.  They've got to close the gap.  It doesn't surprise me at all.  You think seven is a lot, but it's not really, especially over 36 holes.  If I was seven back at any other tournament I would think I could still win.

Q.  You talked yesterday about trying to play a new 36 holes, if you will.  What was the challenge out there for you today, specifically?
ADAM SCOTT:¬† Well, I think it was a pretty weak bogey up the first.¬† It was not an ideal way to start the day with a three‑putt.¬† And then I played okay and didn't really set up any great chances.¬† But a good shot into 5 that didn't get a result.¬† And I felt like I hit four good shots for a bogey on that hole.¬† And that was the way this course is.¬† It was just a little firmer and just asked a little bit more out of us today, I think.
There's still a good score to be had.¬† It's in great shape.¬† But I just didn't adjust well enough the first five holes.¬† So I was kind of on the back foot.¬† And it was a really good birdie on 6 to not let another par‑5 go by and not pick up a shot.

Q.¬† When you take into account what happened through the whole day, and some guys making a run, 3‑shot lead is still a pretty nice place to be.
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, it's a really good spot to be.  I really enjoyed the day on the course.  I think I'm feeling better physically.  But I also enjoyed the challenge of playing in contention again for really the first time this year.  And looking forward to tomorrow.  It's going to be a great day.  Everyone will be hungry to try to win this event.  I think it means a lot to every player out here.

Q.  Adam, do you get anything out of that putt on 18?
ADAM SCOTT:  Well, it's a good putt to make, like I said before.  They all mean so much as it comes down to the last round.  You know, I can walk away with lots of little things.  I shoot under par today instead of even.  I'm three in front.  It's good for the confidence.

Q.  What do you attribute the 31 putts, probably safe to say it didn't look like a putt in every hole like it did the first day?
ADAM SCOTT:  Playing at 1:00 in the afternoon is a lot different than playing at eight in the morning.  There are some tricky putts when they're breaking and they're fast.  And then not freshly mown.  You have to be careful, you can't just slam them at the hole, because if you have five feet coming back, you also have to deal with not a perfectly smooth putt, as well.  So when they're a little softer speed there's more chance of them wandering off.
I missed a couple of putts from six feet in on the back nine that I'd normally expect to make.  And that was really the difference because if I had 29 putts I wouldn't be too displeased with that.

Q.¬† You mentioned that you're practicing‑‑ that you've been practicing quite hard.¬† When you practice quite hard does that mean you practice each part of the game or is there more concentration while you're practicing?
ADAM SCOTT:¬† Do I practice each part of my game‑‑

Q.  Well, meaning, I heard an interview on TV that you said you've been practicing quite hard lately.
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah.

Q.  So does that mean you're hitting more balls or does it mean that you're concentrating more on each shot while you're practicing?
ADAM SCOTT:¬† No, I think I've practiced certain areas of my game more than others, but I think I've put in more hours than ‑‑ not usual, because I am quite a hard practicer, but I‑‑ maybe when I say I'm practicing hard, I'm seeing progress in my practice.¬† It's not necessarily that many more hours on the range or thinking about it much harder.¬† But I feel like I'm progressing.¬† And certainly with my wedge play and my putting, kind of feels like I've practiced more after coming off of Christmas break and everything, where there's probably less practice going for a few weeks.
So I'm seeing progress is probably what I mean when I'm practicing more.

Q.¬† The No.1 ranking has been in your sights now for the last couple of weeks ‑‑ or the opportunity.¬† Now it's even much closer.¬† Is that just a bonus at this point for you or how do you view this now that it's this close?
ADAM SCOTT:  Yeah, I think I've got to go out and try to win the golf tournament tomorrow.  I'm not trying to win the No.1 ranking.  I've got a bunch of guys breathing down my neck who all have had nice rounds today and feeling pretty good about the way they're playing going into tomorrow.  So I'm going to have to play a pretty sharp round of golf and not open the door at all.
And if it pans out that I get the No.1 ranking off a win then it will happen.  But I'll have to celebrate that later, I guess, if it all pans out that way.  But I'm looking to win the golf tournament tomorrow, that's enough motivation for me at this point, it's a great position to be in.

Q.  Are you at full energy or are you still a little under the weather and how did it manifest itself in your play?
ADAM SCOTT:  No, I'm feeling better and better.  To be honest, I'm fine.  It's just the leftover bits now.  But, no, I'm pretty good.  I felt better every day, which has been nice.  A little more bounce in my step on the course today.  It was nice to be out there.

Q.  Adam, you mentioned a minute ago there's a lot of players who are hungry to win.  How hungry are you and why are you so hungry?
ADAM SCOTT:  I'm very hungry to win.  I just don't think you get the chance that much, you don't, because there are so many guys playing well.  And it's shared around a lot more.  I feel like this should be the peak time in my career.  And if I only win one tournament in the peak time in my career it's no different than the rest of my career so far.  I've got to create these chances more often and I've got to take them more often than I have.  I've worked my way back into this position now after four events.  And I've got to start closing at a better rate than ever before.
So I'm very hungry.  And I think most other guys would feel the same.  When you've got that opportunity you've got to take it because it's hard to play yourself into contention three or four times a year, let alone ten, what you'd like to.

Q.  Have you gotten the sense this year or even the last year that there is more hunger than there might have been before with more players?
ADAM SCOTT:¬† I don't know, because I just‑‑ I don't know.¬† I'm not firing throughout the year.¬† So I don't exactly know.¬† I just know that I am.¬† I'm five events in and I'd like to win one of them.¬† And that's tomorrow.
But I'm sure everyone feels the same.  Everyone knows that there are great opportunities for playing good golf out here.  And I think everyone wants a piece of it.  I see new guys out here, like Chesson Hadley, full of confidence now.  Patrick Reed, full of confidence, getting results.  And they're going to keep pushing because they don't have any bad thoughts.  They've never played bad in their life (laughter.)  They're just going one way.  So I've got to work hard to keep going with them.

Q.  Did you find the wind was a challenge to getting your golf ball to go either the distance you wanted or exactly the location you wanted today?
A.Yeah, the wind was a little bit more of a factor today and it was out of different direction for the first time this week.  So that was something to take into account.  Yeah, definitely affected a few shots.  It wasn't quite spot on on a couple of them.  But it's been pretty tame out there, really.  It hasn't been brutal.

Q.  How draining, not physically, but how mentally draining can it be leading from start to finish, and going on to win?
ADAM SCOTT:¬† Yeah, I think it can be but not sitting here Saturday night it's not draining, it's exciting.¬† It's an opportunity‑‑ it is, it's excising to be here.¬† But I was talking to John Senden today who was feeling a little tired today.¬† And I said I'm not surprised after grinding out a win last week in Tampa.¬† You're kind of on a high afterwards, but it does take something out of you, that level of concentration and focus, to win.¬† So potentially in the next week after it can take a bit out of you and you need to recover.

Q.  How would you describe your comfort level playing with the lead?
ADAM SCOTT:  Oh, I've always enjoyed playing with the lead.  It means I'm playing well.  I want to play more holes.  The more holes I play the more I feel like I'm going to end up on top.  I feel like if tournaments were another two rounds I'd be on top more often.
So tomorrow my mindset is to go out there and put the foot down early, unlike today, and extend the lead and make it very difficult for anyone to catch.

Q.  Is there anything along the way today that Stevie said that motivated you to get you back on track?
ADAM SCOTT:¬† No.¬† I don't need that from Steve.¬† I know I'm out there leading a golf tournament.¬† It's a good spot to be.¬† You've got to be patient sometimes.¬† I can't get frustrated by starting like that.¬† I've played too many rounds of golf to know how this goes.¬† 2‑over after five, doesn't mean you can't shoot 68.¬† That was my thought the whole time.¬† If I can get a couple of birdies before the turn, and play a good back nine and 68 pops up.¬† I knew no matter what anyone else shot if I shot 68 today that would be a good number and I didn't, I fell back a little bit, but still posted a good number to keep me out in front.
JOHN BUSH:  Adam Scott, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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