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Adam Scott insists he can still add to his one Major championship victory – and that the 150th Open at St Andrews this year would be the perfect place to do this.
It is hard to believe the former world No1 has failed to add to his 2013 Masters triumph, although there have been a few near-misses with a couple of runner-up finishes and three third places. The laid-back Australian seems high on confidence despite two lean years in the Majors and makes no secret of his big target this year.
He beamed: “I’m so excited about the thought of playing at St Andrews this year. No disrespect to the other Majors or the President’s Cup, but the 150th Open is going to be far and away the highlight of the golfing year.
“Winning the Claret Jug on such an historic occasion, and at the home of golf, would be just incredible. Someone has to do it – so why not me? I feel as fit as ever, and looking at my numbers I know there’s a lot of great golf to come.”
That upbeat appraisal is a far cry from Scott’s mood when he left Royal St George’s after last year’s Open. He cut a forlorn figure after finishing in a share of 46th place, the eighth Major in a row where he had failed to crack the top 20.
Scott recalled: "That day at Royal St George's was kind of rock-bottom of frustration for me. I was frustrated with everything, especially as these days my main aim is to win Major championships.
"It had been a challenging season and that affects my general attitude because I put so much into my career and sacrifice a lot of things, including time at home. I just wasn't getting the results.
"The whole Major season had passed me by, and I was coming away empty-handed. It felt like 2021 was a wasted year for me and I hadn’t threatened in 2020 either. So I was very disappointed. The fact I had turned 41 during the Open and had nothing to celebrate didn’t help either.
“I remember when I won the Masters, Justin Rose texted me to congratulate me and I replied saying something like “this is our time”. He obviously took that to heart because he won the very next Major, the 2013 US Open!”
Both players have failed to add to those victories. But Scott says “the window of opportunity is definitely still open for both of us” and that there is no scar tissue from setbacks such as surrendering a four-shot lead at Royal Lytham in 2012 by bogeying the final four holes.
He added: “If I had let that get to me I couldn’t have bounced back to win the Masters nine months later. The frustration when things go wrong is there in the down times. But then I come to the realisation that golf's the only thing I know how to do, and so I don't have a lot of options outside of that – so I better get my head back on and figure it out!
“I feel like I have done that, and I just feel totally re-energised. My birthday falls during the Open again this year as it does most years. This time it is on the Saturday and it would be great to give myself the best belated present you could ask for on Sunday.”
Scott is also relishing the chance to play more on the DP World Tour, and to try to add to his 11 victories on the European circuit – he has 20 more titles in other parts of the globe including 11 on the PGA Tour – in addition to his Augusta victory and two WGC wins. And after teeing it up in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, he promised we would be seeing a lot more of him this year.
He explained: “I plan to play in all five Rolex Series events, which would be fitting given my great relationship with them. I have been a Rolex Testimonee for over 20 years. I was 21 when I got my first one and I have more than 20 now – including a special one for winning the Masters.
“The watch I wear most of the time these days was bought at an auction - and at the time I was on the 11th hole during a practice round of the Memorial Championship! An alert went off on my phone as we began to walk down the fairway, and I ended up winning the bid for the watch, having eyed it up for quite some time.
“So you can see my relationship with Rolex runs deep. And playing at Wentworth and the Scottish Open, as well as hopefully qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship, is also part of me trying to freshen things up. The fact that we are now fully based in Switzerland, with the kids in school there, means it makes even more sense to play over here more often.
“I’m going to play a different schedule this year. I’m going to play a lot in the build-up to the Masters, including the Match Play, even though it hasn’t proved very productive for me in the past. And while I won’t play the week before Augusta I won’t be as rigid about needing a week off before all the Majors.
"Hopefully, that approach is going to help me to get back into contention again and to finally add to my Masters win.”
David brings a wealth of experience to Golf Monthly as a freelance contributor having spent more than two decades covering the game as The Sun's golf correspondent. Prior to that, he worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Mail. David has covered the last 12 Ryder Cups and every Masters tournament since 1999. A popular and highly-respected name in the press tents around the world, David has built close relationships with many of the game's leading players and officials.
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