AT&T National interview: Adam ScottJune 26, 2013
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THE MODERATOR: We'll get started. We'd like to welcome Adam Scott into the interview room. He's making his fourth start at AT&T National, and he's finished third the last two starts here.
Adam, if we could just get some comments on being back at Congressional.
ADAM SCOTT: It's definitely a tournament I look forward to, and this golf club, I think, fits my game well, and I've had a couple of good results here over the years and in the area for that matter, winning a while back at the old Booz Allen.
It's good to be back here this week. I'm looking to build a bit of momentum to go into The Open and build the confidence back to where I want it heading towards the major championship.
THE MODERATOR: Let's go right into questions.
Q. Justin said something after he won The Open that I think he had texted you after you won the Masters, and you had texted back saying something like this is our time. Do you feel like you have to put in a decade or so and learn that process? Why did you say that to him?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, well, no, you don't have to put in a decade or so, but that was just the way it kind of shaped out for Justin and myself. Our careers have been ‑‑ career paths have been similar, even our lives essentially. We're only born two weeks apart.
I just ‑‑ I wrote that to him, not just because he's put in ten years work and everything, but, you know, you can see players out here, especially guys that you're close to and that you know well, when their games are really developing, and you know when they're putting a lot of hard work in, and I've definitely seen that in Justin's game.
So I truly believed that comment was aimed at him and probably a few other guys around our age as well, but certainly I only wrote it to him. If he didn't believe it already, I was hoping that he would see it through me winning and then me saying that to him for sure because he's that good obviously.
Q. After the Masters or any Open, we always ask the winner how it feels. You can't possibly have felt it yet. You're still practically playing the course. Now that it's sunk in, what does winning the Masters mean day to day? Do you go a day when you don't think about it? How do people respond to you? Anything unexpected?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I haven't really reflected fully on the Masters yet. I've tried to not do that and get on with the rest of the year and make it as good as it can be after such a great start, but it's been tough too. There's been a lot of things to juggle in between. Yeah, I mean, focusing has been a little tougher, but I feel like now the U.S. Open is behind and another Major's gone, it's time.
I really felt like last week, okay, the focus went back on when I was on the range at home, and it was really productive again, and it felt like it did before winning the Masters. I think somewhat understandably you can kind of get lost a little bit, not lost, but you can just float along and ‑‑ you know, I was playing okay, but it just wasn't quite the same as beforehand, and now there's a purpose again for sure.
Q. That shows how hard it is to cope with because you were already totally established. Everything. And it still distracts you. Maybe that explains, when guys come out of the blue, they don't win again for years.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, potentially, but it's something I've dreamed of for a long time, I've aspired to, people have told me I've got the potential to achieve. And for it to finally happen, although I haven't reflected on it, I've certainly enjoyed being the Masters champion for the past couple of months, that's for sure. I haven't been too harsh on myself for my performances in the last three events since the Masters.
Like I said, I got home after the U.S. Open, and I was disappointed because after starting so great Thursday, I really just squandered away into the back of the pack. And that was the first time I'd done that in a Major in a long time. I'd been just knocking on the door for the last six or so and didn't feel any good.
So when I got back on the range after that, like I said, the focus came back, and the purpose came back to my practice. I feel like it's a good time for that because I want to make the most of what this year could possibly be.
Q. The comment about our time, would you direct that too as well toward Jason Day, obviously a little bit younger, but a guy who's contended in a bunch of these now, a bunch of majors. Is he maybe one of those guys that's part of that conversation sort of feel like any minute he could win a major? Where do you kind of put him in that conversation?
ADAM SCOTT: Probably not in that one that I had, but, yes, for Jason, he's knocking on the door every Major, it seems. He's kind of got the Major game look. So he should feel confident, and he should be thinking he's going to go and win every Major he plays, especially at Augusta, I would say. It seems like he's got that place dialed in after three starts, and that's a great way to start there.
I think it was slightly aimed more at guys that have been out here for 10 or 12 years and had great moments and have ridden the roller coaster, I think, a bit. Everyone does, and Jason will at some point. But right now he should be looking at winning them, winning them early.
I think that was the biggest thing that I liked about Ernie Els' career. He won a couple majors early and just got him in a good place where he could become one of the game's greats or at least a great of this generation.
Q. What is that kind of Major game? Specifically, I guess.
ADAM SCOTT: I think it's more just the ability to execute at a Major. It's just ‑‑ it's just so much more pressure than at a normal tournament for your game to stand up. It seems like Jason's got something figured out, that he shows up and contends. That's something I searched for for a long time.
Q. Adam, with The Open coming up next month, you're obviously going to be receiving a lot of questions about what happened last year. Are those questions easier to deal with based on winning the Masters?
ADAM SCOTT: No. I mean, no, I don't think so. Still I don't ‑‑ I haven't won The Open because of the Masters. I still miss out on that.
I'm really looking forward to going back and trying to get myself in a similar kind of situation, a chance to win The Open. The hardest thing is going to be curbing the expectations right from the start and just kind of building my way into that position. But it's exciting.
I mean, every tournament, I feel, is an opportunity for me now, even more so after winning the Masters, to just build on this. Like I said, it was a good feeling last week. I was on the range with a purpose and with a really clear thought again for the first time probably since winning the Masters. So I'd like to put myself in good shape this week to then try to get to The Open and redeem myself maybe after last year.
Q. You said something earlier about the previous three events hadn't been so great. Are you getting better at letting those go and setting up your priorities? Or just the emotional roller coaster of getting past the bad ones and just looking ahead, are you getting better at that?
ADAM SCOTT: I think I got over that a long time ago. I've played so many tournaments, good and bad. There's times for concern, and there are times when you just know it's the game of golf. The U.S. Open, there's a fine line between shooting even par for a round and shooting 3 over for a round, but that adds up to 12 shots after four days, and 12 over and even is a big difference. You win the tournament at even.
It's a very fine line with momentum and putts that you make at a U.S. Open, and I'm disappointed with my result there because I should have been better. The other ones weren't so bad. I just wasn't quite as sharp as I would have liked. But it's a good time to get a result this week.
Q. Quick two‑parter. First, did Ernie reach out to you after winning the Masters? He was nearly apologetic at The Open Championship accepting the trophy last year. I'm sure he reached out and said congratulations. And part two, looking ahead to this week, you have a pretty interesting pairing starting off.
ADAM SCOTT: Ernie, definitely. He sent me a message straight away, and I think I spoke to him maybe a couple of days later. He was calling and got to speak to him, which was great. Ernie and I have been pretty close for a long time. So he was extremely gracious in winning The Open and his words towards me. That was appreciated for sure. It probably made me feel a little better that it was a friend that won than somebody I'm not so friendly with.
I was happy for him because I think so much of his game. I think he deserves to win at least four majors. He should win more. He's really, really good, one of the most talented I've seen, I think, in my opinion. So, yeah, that was nice for him. I think he enjoyed ‑‑
Q. What about the pairing here? I guess you're with Jason Day, right?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, and Leishman. It's a good pairing here. It will be fun for us tomorrow. I did an all‑Aussie pairing somewhere else this year. It's good fun. Absolutely looking forward to that. It's almost like going and having a game at home with your mates.
Q. Adam, you mentioned the roller coaster of a career. How does that inform who you are now? How does that ‑‑ what part of that is you, is that kind of up and down from the past?
ADAM SCOTT: What part of me?
Q. How does it shape how you go about things? How does it ‑‑
ADAM SCOTT: It's experience. And that's just the one thing you can't have when you're young, but you don't necessarily need that if you get the right information to you as a young player ‑‑ or not get any information necessarily, and you just ‑‑ you're just naturally good.
But it certainly shapes all your decisions. You can only go off previous experience. You shouldn't ignore it. You've got to learn about who you are as a person and a golfer to succeed in golf, I think.
I've been trying to use all that to my advantage. The last couple of years, it's been a much clearer thought process in doing that.
Q. Adam, there's so much emphasis, priority on the Majors. How important is the entire body of work for a season or a career in terms of winning a lot of tournaments that aren't Majors to prepare you for the time you have a chance?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, everything's been pushed towards the Majors, which is maybe only natural because that's how people are judged at the end of their careers. I probably think a season long performance isn't ranked high enough. It doesn't get enough credit for somebody winning the scoring average or the money list or the FedEx Cup or whatever it might be. I think that's an impressive achievement to outplay everyone for the year.
But every tournament is part of the process to winning a Major or winning. So they're all ‑‑ have their own importance, like every shot actually counts.
Q. Is it odd that Jason has given himself three reasonably good chances at Majors but in six years only one win?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't know. There's just no ‑‑ nothing normal for golf, is there? There's just no set pattern. Anything's possible, and no one's career is the same. You think you're going to come out and win a few Majors when you're 20 years old because you're good to get on Tour. It may happen. Rory did it, but other people didn't.
Why didn't Sergio win two majors when he was 23? He could have, should have. He had the chance to. It's just impossible to know how it's all going to pan out.
So as long as Jason's seeing all the positives, then I have no doubt he's going to win heaps of Majors and heaps of tournaments. It's almost harder to win a regular Tour event than a Major.
Q. And the other question I had for you is what you're doing here. Let me rephrase that. What is it about this tournament at this time that fits into the schedule you've got mapped out?
ADAM SCOTT: Again, the golf course is a big part of that for me, and I play a very light schedule at the start of the year, and this is the time of year where I play, and I need to play ‑‑ be ready and play myself into form. Like I said, especially after the U.S. Open, I feel a result is needed, just some kind of result to keep the confidence high and move over to Europe feeling like I'm ready to compete.
I want to contend. It's been since the Masters that I've really been in contention. So getting those feelings would be nice again.
THE MODERATOR: Adam Scott, thank you, sir.