Tampa Bay Championship interview: Adam Scotttext sizeMarch 15, 2013
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DOUG MILNE: We welcome Adam Scott, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after a 5‑under 66 after round two here at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank, picking up right where you left off last week at Doral. Just some comments on the round today and kind of how you're feeling as you head into the weekend.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, very pleased with the round today. To go bogey‑free anywhere is good, and I think here is particularly good. It's quite a tricky golf course, and mistakes are easily made. But not too errant a shot. Very pleased with that and chipped away at it and got myself right in contention for the weekend, which I'm pleased about.
Q. You said earlier that your short game might be the best it's ever been. Curious what areas did you address in the off‑season and how did you go about doing that?
ADAM SCOTT: It was getting better last year. I think it's improved the last three years, but I just wanted it to keep progressing. Just kept working at it during the off‑season, and one day was kind of a bit of a breakthrough out there and everything started falling into place. The consistency and strike was there, how I wanted it. Somehow I managed to keep that for a couple months now, so it's feeling good. But it's reassuring to know that you don't have to hit a perfect shot every time. You can go for your shot a little bit and the short game will be there to back you up. That's allowed me to swing freely at the ball and I'm swinging from a good place right now. So everything I'm very comfortable with, where every part of my game's at.
Q. Can you elaborate on this breakthrough? Was it a shot? Was it a session? Make it as good as you can.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I don't know, just had a really nice feeling going that day, whatever it was, and I managed to get through the whole shag bag of balls hitting every chip the same without one jumping up and running on. Everything was very controlled and consistent. And after I had hit a shag bag, I thought to myself, I think that's the best bunch of chips I've ever hit. And I just kept working on it, and that was kind of the point I didn't look back from now. So it's felt good, and I've felt my confidence grow on the course with the pitching and chipping, too. So feels good at the moment. It's nice, because I felt like that‑‑ well, my wedge play needs to have the most improvement, I think that's the area of the most improvement.
Q. Where was that?
ADAM SCOTT: It was at home on the Gold Coast.
Q. Name of the club?
ADAM SCOTT: Century Cove.
Q. You sort of alluded to it, was it more than a couple years ago where you put so much pressure on yourself to hit the ball close because of the short game issues, and that trickled into the rest of your game and then that becomes a problem, as well?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, that's kind of on the other end of a downward spiral, whether it starts with the short game or long game, pressure gets on one, and eventually if it's not relieved, it's all going to break down. Absolutely. You know, I would say in 2009, I was hitting the ball poorly, and there was just so much pressure on the short game that it just wasn't good enough to make up for the long game. So eventually, not only do you lose confidence with your long game, you lose it with the short game, too, because you just can't get every ball up‑and‑down from where you hit it. But it works in reverse, fortunately, also: When you start chipping better, it frees up your long game and you can start hitting it better. And I don't have to use my short game that much out here. I'm not missing any greens, but it's nice when you miss a couple that you feel really good and confident that you can walking up there and get it up‑and‑down.
Q. I know you're already respected in the game and out of the game, but have you gotten feedback on how you handled yourself at The Open Championship after it was over, and since then on just how you carried yourself?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I certainly got a lot of comments after The Open on the way I handled that, which was extremely nice. All of the support from everyone was appreciated and probably made the next few months much easier, than if I felt I got no support maybe. But I was also, you know, honest with everything I said. And I tried to do my best at the time but looking back on it still, it's a highlight for me last year, the way I played. That's the way I've dreamt of playing a Major Championship my whole life, and finally I got myself to that point. So I really don't see it as a negative at all. But I certainly appreciated the support and comments of support and the fact that people thought I handled it well.
Q. I was going to ask you, when you talk about reassurance and the confidence you've got in your game at the moment, how important is it to have that, particularly with the first major, only a few weeks away now?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, well, it is, it's a lot better than not having it, that's for sure. I have to say, I try and plan these things to the best of my ability and use some of the experience that I have over the years. And the experience I've gained from the last couple years where I've played better in the bigger tournaments, which I've achieved, and that was the goal, and trying to keep that momentum going. So I'm not really just throwing the balls up in the air and hoping they land in the right spot. I'm somewhat calculating what I do.
Q. Is your schedule the same as it was last year?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I didn't play here last year, but it's roughly the same, yeah.
Q. You find that works for you?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I mean, I just balance. Nothing is set in stone. I just try and balance where my game's at, what I'm feeling and if I'm competitive, and if I'm not. There's no point just going to a play a tournament for the sake of playing a tournament. I'm trying to go and play well every week, and sometimes I have to go and practice at home to get better so I can come back out and be competitive.
Q. Did you decide to add this after only spending two days at the Match Play?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I was always playing here. The schedule is a bit different this year because of Houston and San Antonio.
Q. It was a fairly large example last week of one player helping out another to good effect. How common is that out here and why should it be different in golf than most any other sports where you don't help a competitor?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't really know what you're referring to.
Q. Well, Tiger and Stricker.
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know what they did.
Q. Steve had given Tiger a putting tip that really seemed to help out. (Laughter). How common is that out here with guys helping each other out?
ADAM SCOTT: It's very common. I think everyone passes tips along, at some point. Especially if they are asked. We are all happy; we think we are experts, if we're asked (smiling). It's a really interesting competitive dynamic that we are like that. I mean, I've had amazing tips from incredible golfers over the years. Getting a short game tip around Augusta with José Maria Olazábal, a Masters Champion, is an incredible thing in a practice round that week. So, it happens. Sometimes they work. You know, a good one, same example is Greg Norman gave me a chipping lesson the week I won THE PLAYERS, and ironically, I had a pitch on 18 that I have to up‑and‑down to win. So these things happen. But we all kind of share knowledge if it's that or a feeling or something. I guess it's unique in a sense.
Q. You don't see‑‑
ADAM SCOTT: For a non‑team sport to be like that.
Q. If Timmy had come to you on Tuesday of Dove Mountain and asked for some help on something, would you have given it to him?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I mean, it's the only week where that probably doesn't happen, where even Tim, who is my good mate, probably thought twice about coming and sitting and having breakfast with me that morning (chuckles). It's the only time you're really going head‑to‑head, whereas the rest of the time, you don't maybe until the last couple holes of a tournament, if that's the way it's panning out. But it is, it's different. The feeling is probably you don't want to cozy up next to your opponent at the Match Play at breakfast, go sit at the other table. Well, maybe not the Match Play, but every other week.
Q. Coming close in majors, is there a point in which coming close‑‑ the next major is right around the corner, here is my next shot and it goes to when am I going to win a major, is there an internal clock?
ADAM SCOTT: I think it's the other way for me. I think it was a long time, I didn't really look like I was a major contender, and now I feel like I am. So I feel like now's my time, it's up to me to make it happen. Everyone's path to that success is different. I mean, Mickelson knocked on the door for years and years and then the floodgates opened for him. I've gotten my game to a point where I feel like I'm right there. Hopefully I can get the first one and then we'll see. But everyone takes a different path; whereas Rory's a kid with all the potential and he's just walked right into it. Everyone's path to getting there is different. So I'm just trying to do what I believe is best and hopefully the first one comes soon and more to follow.
Q. Is it true, are you going to Augusta with Ernie pre‑Masters week? And also, just curious, obviously you're good friends with him and he's talked about that. Is there ever any awkwardness with him winning? I wonder if he ever said', anybody but you,' or any conversations like that.
ADAM SCOTT: Ernie and I went to Augusta this Tuesday and played. But no, I think I was happy overall, very happy for Ernie. I think he's an incredible talent and he's one of the best players I've of seen on a golf course. I've played so much golf with him and seen him do such incredible things. I think he could have won ten majors. So paid his dues, and whether he won it or I helped him win it a little bit; it doesn't matter, he won it. Probably eased the pain a little bit that he was a closer friend of minute here, and I could feel some happiness for him.
Q. That trip to Augusta three days ago, anything stand out when you were there? Was it the same old, or anything different?
ADAM SCOTT: No, I mean, I thought it was in the best shape I've ever seen it in this early in the year. They must have had some nice warm days and cool nights and a lot of grass seems to be growing. Because sometimes it can be a little thin early on, but looks great. It's Augusta. It's pretty much perfect (smiles).
Q. Just the two of you, was it?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, just Ernie and I.
Q. Whose plane?
ADAM SCOTT: Not mine, I know that (laughs).
Q. What were some of the highlights from your round today in your mind?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, bogey‑free is really good around here. I think the shot into 1, talking about golf shots, that was just a beautiful shot, beautiful 3‑wood into 1. And you know, pleasing for me, because that's a shot I've been working hard on controlling. I know I can play it, but to pull it off at that point was very happy. It's an easy one for me to miss left, that kind of shot where I'm aiming left.
You know, to hit a nice kind of made, real fade is cool. It's all things like that that make you feel good about the work that you've done and that you're won the right track.
Q. Is that a difficult chip on 11?
ADAM SCOTT: Extremely difficult chip on 11. (Laughter). It was, you know, if the trees weren't there, it's not a hard chip. You just had to control the trajectory a little bit. I don't know, I don't think you can talk it up too much.
Q. I will anyway.
ADAM SCOTT: It was a good shot, don't get me wrong.
Q. And lastly, the importance or value of playing well on what appears to be your last tournament before Augusta? Wait, except for the Tavistock Cup, sorry.
ADAM SCOTT: It is, it is important. You know, as far as the kind of schedule I play, it's important to play well every time I'm playing. But I really wanted to carry that form from the week last weekend over to this week. That was important. But there's still two more days to go, and you know, it's only the last round that you look at. So I want to finish off really solid on the weekend and take that form into the Tavistock Cup.