Adam Scott is taking a fresh approach to try to reverse his recent major fortunes.
“A big focus for me obviously is the majors, and I think I’ll be very fresh when I get to Augusta,” said the 2013 Masters winner from Australia. “But there’s an important stretch of June through August as well, which is months away, and a lot of golf before we get there and I want to make sure I’m fresh for that.”
A year ago, Scott came into the season’s first major as one of the hottest golfers after consecutive victories on the Florida swing at PGA National and Doral immediately on the heels of a runner-up finish at Riviera. But he played five times in a span of seven weeks before coming to Augusta and tied for 42nd in the Masters Tournament.
This year, he’ll come into the Masters far more rested, having taken a three-week break before adding the Houston tournament for the first time since 2010 as a tune-up before coming to Augusta.
“For me, taking that significant break away is important, so that I can stay fresh,” he said. “I don’t know whether that means I’m old and not that fresh anymore, but I think it’s important for me to do that, and it’s got some results in the past. With a few little modifications this year, I’m looking forward to getting some better results again.”
Scott’s 2016 major season proved to be his worst in six years, with his best finishes a tie for 18th at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. So he decided to shake things up by playing the weeks before the Masters (Houston) and British Open (Scottish Open) to build momentum.
“I haven’t done that in a while, but when I played in blocks of two and three weeks last year, I played really well,” he said. “If you look at my major results the last two years, it hasn’t been getting better – it’s been getting worse. So I had to make some changes.
“A lot changed in my life over the last two years, and it doesn’t allow me to prepare the same way as my best four or five years at the majors.”
Scott has more changes on the way. He announced at Riviera that he and his wife, Marie Kojzar, are expecting their second child in August. She is staying in Australia until the birth instead of their home in the Bahamas to avoid the Zika virus, so Scott’s travel plans will be a little different.
“I’m trying to use all my experience to my advantage,” he said. “Just like sometimes I took three weeks off before the Masters and prepared for it and didn’t think rust would be a problem. I’m trying to peak. If you look at a lot of other sports, they compete a lot less than us and they manage to peak when they need to. So you’ve got to try and do that.”
He hoped to build confidence heading into Augusta by getting in contention in his reduced schedule, but he never really threatened in the same three PGA Tour venues where he excelled last year.
“I’m not brimming with confidence from any results, but I feel confident about where my game’s at,” he said. “It’s good to be playing well going to Augusta. It’s better to have played in contention and even better if you’ve won.”