The Aussie makes his 2012 debut at Riviera after off-season tonsil surgery.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- If nothing else, Adam Scott starts the 2012 season well-rested after an offseason break of nearly three months.
Even so, the time off seemed to fly by as Scott spent time with family and friends Down Under, watched a little tennis and even had his tonsils removed.
"But I think I needed it," Scott said. "I've played a lot of golf around the world for the last 12 years, and to be able to spend three months at home for a change was really, really nice. … Now I'm refreshed and ready to go for this year."
That wasn't exactly the case at the end of the 2011 season. Scott felt he ran out of gas during the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup where he posted two top-10s but didn't finish higher than 37th in the other two.
"And then I played right into the back end of the year in December in Asia and Australia," Scott said. "So I figured starting a little later certainly wouldn't hurt me, and hopefully I'd still be fresh enough to have a better run at the Playoffs and then into the back end of the year when I get home to Australia."
First stop in '12 is at the Northern Trust Open where Scott picked up an unofficial victory in 2005 and was runner-up the following year. The 31-year-old Aussie says Riviera is "probably my favorite venue" on the PGA TOUR.
He's spent the last month or so fine-tuning his swing, eliminating a few "little habits" that crept in last season and making sure the the club was traveling more square down the line through the ball again. Most of the work, though, was just an extension of what he was doing in 2011, which he called his best full year on TOUR.
"I think I've prepared pretty well, so I don't see any reason why I shouldn't play well this week," said Scott, who picked up his eighth PGA TOUR victory last year at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
As a sidelight to the interview, a reporter asked Scott for his thoughts on the USGA's decision to look at belly putters and long putters and whether they should continue to have a place in the game. Scott, who has been a convert for several years, said he wasn't aware of the move but he didn't fear it, either.
"Just like everything in golf, it changes," Scott said. "Driver heads weren't 460 cc's when the game started, just like people didn't putt with a belly putter when the game started. So things change, and I guess it's up to the R&A and the USGA to keep the game in the best shape possible with what they think. Whatever they think goes at the end of the day, so we'll see.
"It's not going to ruin me if they ban a long putter one day because I putted good some weeks with the short putter. I won a lot of tournaments. I'll just have to work a bit harder with it."