Adam Scott opens up at US Open

BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 US Open | Preview | 12 Jun 2013

On Monday, Adam Scott spoke to the media just a few days out from the second major championship of the year and the first question he faced was on how his win at Augusta National would benefit him this week.

“Yeah, definitely. I think it would be smart of me to take some things away with what I did at the Masters. All the positives that I felt that week and the way I applied myself to preparing and the way I played on the golf course, also mentally and physically, I guess, a lot of good stuff that ended up in me winning.

“I can’t lie to you, I do feel a lot better coming here, even discussing that kind of thing. It’s a good feeling to come here to know that I’ve achieved that. I’ve got my first major. And my sights are definitely set on trying to win more. But it is a nice feeling.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel playing for the first time in a major after having won, to see if there’s less pressure or if up I’m going to put more pressure on myself, I don’t really know. For me it’s a very exciting time in my career, where hopefully I can make the most of all the things that I’ve been working for and take advantage of the momentum of winning the Masters and that good form. But it’s very exciting for me to come, like I said, and even talk to you as a major champion.”

Q – So how has Scott been able to overcome the issue to do with weather in his preparation this past few days?

“I think ultimately it’s frustrating. I’m lucky I came up about three weeks ago and played a couple of rounds, so I have seen the course a fair bit. And I’ve got a fairly good understanding. But I’m a big believer, especially for here, that you have to understand the course very well.

“You’d like to feel like you’re a local going out there. There are a lot of blind shots off tees. The fairways move a lot where you can’t see it. So you have to have a really good understanding, a good visual of what’s out there when you can’t see it. I think for me that’s the frustrating part at the moment is I’m not getting to hit enough shots off those tees before we’ll start Thursday.

“I played 18 holes yesterday. The course was closed on Saturday, but they let us walk around and hit some putts, but we couldn’t play. And Friday it was open, but it wasn’t worth going out there, it was under water.

“So I’ve only really played 18 holes so far. I was going to try to play the back nine this morning. But obviously we’re not going anywhere at the moment. And I’m going to try and play Wednesday for sure.

“It turns out that coming up a few weeks ago was really quite valuable for me. I’ve had three full rounds and that’s taken my time trying to figure everything out. I think I’ve got a pretty good idea where I’m going to try to go. Obviously with it being a little soft it becomes a little simpler than what it was. The ball is just going to stop where it lands. So if you’re accurate you’ll be fine.”

Q – Scott has played well in majors over the last two years thanks in a large part to a reduced schedule but how does he keep competitive when he is playing so much less?

“I practice. I just practice a lot when I’m at home. I feel like I’m trying to do this thing that I’ve talked about a lot the last few years of peaking at the right time. And it’s hard to sit at home some weeks when I feel like I’m playing really good, it could be my week, and watch other guys win on Tour or get in contention when I feel like I’m good enough to be there when I’m at home practicing or even the weeks that I play.

“You might be just a touch off on Thursday because you’ve had a three week break or something, and that might cost you a couple of shots and in the end you’re a few back and not quite where you want to be Sunday, but I’ve kind of got the big picture in mind always when I get frustrated with that and think, well, I’ve got a pretty good plan in place that I think I’ll be competitively ready Thursday here and have my best stuff for the next four days from then and put myself in a position where I can win this tournament.

“I guess in the scheme of things it’s a small sacrifice to not win a couple of Tour events if you’re going to win the U.S. Open or something like that. That’s where I’m placing the importance at the moment. That’s kind of how I think about it.”

Q – So what drove Scott to make such significant changes to his scheduling?

“Well, my lack of success and ten years of playing badly. I’m a learner, but not a fast one, obviously. The frustration was really high in 2010. I was playing well, not getting results that I wanted. I was frustrated with a lot of things because of that. I’d had enough, essentially, of not playing well enough in the big events when I felt I could. So I had to do something different. You have to after a while if it’s not working. If it is broke, you’ve got to fix it.”

Q – The contrast between not winning the Open Championship last year and winning the Masters what had you learned in that span of time.

“Well, it’s hard, I mean I think The Open, as disappointing as that was, the self belief it gave me, which sounds a bit odd, seeing I didn’t win, far out weighed the disappointment of it. It was like finally I’ve played really, really well and essentially controlled that tournament for the whole week. It was all in my hands to win or lose and I lost.

“But I’ve been trying to play like that for so long, like why did I change the way I prepared? Because I hadn’t played like that. And to get there just gave me the belief that I was on the right track. And the belief that I’m good enough to win a major. It was like the final piece in the puzzle for me, I think, to get that through my head. I think I just carried that with me into the PGA, I felt like I could get back up and win the PGA and I played okay. And I felt I was close again.

“But it didn’t get me down, I just had to keep doing the same stuff. And the way I’m doing it I feel like all the work just accumulates and then it’s up to me to execute it and rely on my instincts and what talent I have to play the game can come out at the right time. And it did at the Masters. Hopefully I’m accumulating again, and it will come out this week.

“I really think it was just the last couple of pieces in the puzzle that I learned at Lytham to get me over the line, ultimately at Augusta.”

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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