For a young golf professional that is adored by many, it would be pretty easy for Adam Scott (photo courtesy of Rolex) to be quite full of himself. In fact, it would be pretty hard not be in his position. As a good-looking young professional athlete, many things in the world certainly do fall at your feet. But for Scott, it’s the things he has been working for that seem to mean the most.
Addressing a throng of us media types by phone from Miami today, it appears his game is in fine form as he prepares for the World Golf Championships – CA Championship this week at Doral. Whether it will be enough to stop Tiger and his winning streak remains to be seen but Scott is not deterred by the challenge it presents.
Blessed with a golf swing admired by many, Scott’s short game has constantly been under scrutiny, not only by critics but Adam himself, but he is feeling confident about his progress. “Yeah, my game feels really good at the moment. I’m very happy with the way I’m swinging the club. I’ve been been working particularly hard the last couple months on my short game, and that’s feeling really good, which I think it’s going to be needed here at Doral this week; the winds blowing and the rough is up.”
Scott has long been on many people’s list as the next possible superstar but even with a World #5 ranking, a handful of worldwide wins and a number of PGA Tour titles including The Players Championship and the Tour Championship, one feat has still eluded him – a true major championship. With experience now soundly on his side and another off-season of practice in the rear view mirror, there is no time like the present to get his major run started.
Asked about whether he was truly prepared to attain such heights this season and what had he done to better equip himself to get the job done, he was very pointed in his response. “Yeah, I’ve definitely have made a conscious effort to tackle any weaknesses in my whole game the last six months or so. You know, purely golf-wise, chipping and putting, I’ve worked hard on it, and I think I’ve brought that up a level.”
With that said Scott agrees there is still room to improve his ball-striking and driving and he has even resorted to using Yoga techniques to enhance his performance, particularly focusing on his breathing to help him maintain a consistent rhythm, even under extreme pressure. “I’ve gone about it from all angles and kind of tried to think outside the box a little bit, as well, because that might be what it takes to break through and get competitive in these majors week-after-week.”
That is all well and good but even he realizes that as strong as he can perform he will have to contend with the one-man wrecking crew, Tiger Woods. When you talk about winning major championships, it is a subject you cannot ignore.
“You’ve got to remember that Tiger, even though he’s winning every tournament right now, history shows he doesn’t win every major,” he explains with calculated optimism. “So hopefully there’s an opportunity; certainly they don’t come easily or often but I’d like to get myself where I can least get in a position where I can maybe take advantage of that opportunity.”
So in his mind Adam Scott is ready; in fact just yesterday he strolled the fairways at Augusta National with Fred Couples and Nick Watney for a practice round. The Masters is clearly his target because if there is a major to win it is the one he wants, badly, for himself and his country. They have been robbed of the opportunity to crown an Aussie Masters champion too many times. “For an Australian to win The Masters would be enormous. It’s definitely a boost that Australian golf needs and to bring the profile of the game back up and I think, personally, just to be the first Australian to win The Masters would be a nice little feather in the cap.”
We’ll have to wait a few more weeks but if Scott can take care of his own business and do enough to get past one Tiger Woods, we’ll see if he can get that feather and put it in that cap – and maybe find a nice green blazer to match – Burberry, of course.
If he does, undoubtedly there will be many a fan standing and cheering in front of their televisions, not only in Australia, but around the world. For every champion needs a foe, even of any scale, and Adam Scott might just have the tools to make it happen. To do that though, he will have to reach his potential instead of just chasing it.
And even that may not be enough, but he’s willing to give it his all to find out if it is.