Scott finding the balance in preparation
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2014 The Open Championship | Preview | 16 Jul 2014
Adam Scott approaches this week’s Open Championship with perhaps a debt to settle. Having led the last two Open Championships during the final round Scott is excited about the prospect of another chance at the title and his preparation suggests he is on track to potentially win his second major and his first open Championship and exorcise the demons of Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012.
At his previous attempt at Royal Liverpool he finished a then best for him in major championships when 8th and with eight more years of experience and a much improved record in majors behind him, he arrives in Hoylake well positioned to produce something very special.
“Yeah, very much looking forward to this week and trying to keep momentum from the last years going, and hopefully give myself another chance at winning this great event,” said Scott on Tuesday. “There’s nothing else on my mind right now other than executing this week.”
“The course is great,” responded Scott when asked how the course was shaping up. “It’s been presented beautifully. Every aspect of it is perfect. It’s incredible, really. As far as what it takes, it is all weather dependent. It can change so much, even throughout the day, depending whether the wind is up or dropped, so the wind switches. So you have to play that by ear. But obviously the wind is a big defence for this golf course. If it’s not windy, I think as soft as it is, we’re going to have some good scores out here.”
Scott has played Royal Liverpool a lot in his lead-up to the event but whether that is a good thing remains to be seen. Golfers have been known to overdo tournament preparation and by the time the tournament comes around they are burnt out.
Scott however see things differently and highlights his preparation and success in the event in recent years.
“I think the idea of playing the rounds is to have a real level of comfort on every tee that you step on. And then knowing what club it is instinctively without having to look at a yardage book and yards, to figure it out. It’s very hard to figure out how far balls roll on fairways like this, even though we’re all saying that it’s softer than a links — last year anyway, and the last time we were here.
“It’s very hard to know exactly how far it’s going to roll. So you have to have that level of comfort. And I think that’s what I’ve done well the last few years by coming up early and playing a lot of rounds.
“I got up here on Thursday and I’ve played every day. There was no range open up here then, so I just came out and played pretty much 18 every day except Saturday, I think I played 30 holes or so.
“Like I said, with just the idea of getting very comfortable and familiar with the golf course. It’s been good. It’s one of the weeks I look forward to most out of the whole year. I got to come and play The Open Championship course when it’s closed, the week before. It’s a real perk of the job, I think.
“I just try and prepare the best I can. The Majors are the biggest events, the ones we all want to win the most. And I feel like I need to practice and prepare in a certain way that I feel my game’s going to hold up for four rounds under the most pressure we feel all year.
“So balancing the amount of balls you hit and the chips and putts, and having a good understanding of the golf course you’re going to play all helps. I sacrifice probably a couple of tournaments here and there to spend time looking at a golf course and doing the homework and getting comfortable. If that gives me a chance to win, that’s not a very big sacrifice for me to make, in my mind.”
Scott was asked how being the world number one had impacted on him and was it something he thought about often.
“It hasn’t changed the way I play the game. But I’ve enjoyed the last couple of months immensely. I think it’s been such a process to get to this childhood dream and achieve it that I’ve tried hard to keep myself there for a little bit.
“I’ll be trying hard again this week to win some more points to stay up there. But obviously the goal is to win a golf tournament this week, not just stay No. 1. I think one day I’ll look back on it as an incredible achievement.
“But it’s hard to reflect too much on things you do when you’re in the middle of playing your career. I don’t think there’s time for stopping and reflecting at the moment. But one day it will be something that I’m very proud of.”