Adam Scott: Pre-Championship Press Conference
BETH MAJOR: Welcome to the 2014 U.S. Open Championship here at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Very pleased to have with us this morning Adam Scott, currently ranked No. 1 in the world. Comes into the week with top-5 finishes in 2014, including a victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Adam is the 2013 Masters champion and is playing in his 13th U.S. Open, including a previous appearance in 2005 at Pinehurst. Can you talk about coming back to Pinehurst and your thoughts on the course so far this week.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it's been much anticipated by most of the players coming back here, because of significant changes and we're all interested to see what they did with the golf course since 2005. I don't think anyone's disappointed. I think what they've done has made a great golf course even better. And it's going to present a great challenge for the U.S. Open championship this week.
BETH MAJOR: You talked just a moment ago about being in Pinehurst. Can you talk about what it's like to be at the home of American golf, and what a special place this is.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, absolutely. It really feels like a bit of a golf mecca here. And I'm sure my parents would have a great week, if they were here playing golf, with all the different golf courses. It's got a lovely feel to it. All the courses seem to have this somewhat rustic look about it through the pine trees, and certainly esthetically it's very pleasing way to walk around and spend the day on a golf course.
Q. Most of the golfers that have come through here have talked about how much they like the new look, the more natural look. And the look, to some viewers at home, it doesn't look like Augusta. Can you explain why, esthetically, from your perspective, you like the look and how do you go about attacking it this week, given the lack of rough and the natural areas and what the greens are going to play like?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I think the beauty about the game of golf is that we can have such different parameters to play in and all golf courses are unique and some have certain similarities, but there's such a wide range of the way to challenge any golfer, and certainly us. If you look at this to Augusta to TPC Sawgrass, some of our great championships are played on them and they're all completely different. So that's the beauty of golf. And it's hard to say that -- I don't know what they're calling it, but it's not lack of rough off the fairways here. And if you spend the week playing out of that, you're not going to do well. So I would say there's plenty of rough out there.
Q. I wonder if some of the look reminds you at all of courses at home, it's not super lush, is that familiar in a way?
ADAM SCOTT: Absolutely. Certain bits of it, the edges of the fairway are a little bare, and that's fine, because the fairways are very generous. The proportions are all right. And then the waste areas and some of the green surrounds are similar to Sun Belt golf back in Australia. But it also reminds us of a lot of other parts of the world, as well, I think. People have mentioned Pine Valley and Sunningdale and that area over in the UK. So it's a really nice mix. And, like I said, esthetically it looks very nice, as well.
Q. As a great driver of the golf ball, if you don't mind my saying.
ADAM SCOTT: Thank you, Doug.
Q. You're welcome. What do you think has held you back in this championship from being a serious challenging?
ADAM SCOTT: Certainly I haven't had the best record at the U.S. Open. It's hard to put a finger on a lot of it. I've talked to you all about ten years of playing pretty average, by my own expectations in Majors, and tried to improve that the last few years, and I think I've done a good job. But maybe not quite as good at the U.S. Open. However, I felt, at Olympic, I played very well the last 60 holes or so, after a really bad start on Thursday. And the confidence grew last year. I battled a little bit, maybe it's coincidence that I haven't had my best stuff at a U.S. Open. But I certainly feel like where my game's at now, and the past few years, I should be able to compete here. I'm trying to build a game that can play anywhere. So it's a good week for me to kind of turn the corner and get in contention. I think this course sets up well to me.
Q. (No microphone.)
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I certainly think -- it's definitely getting there, if it's not there. I think winning at Colonial was a big feather in my cap. It's a much smaller golf course than we normally play on Tour and to scale back and be precise off the tee with some irons and precise into the greens with wedges, people say great wedge players win there. I'd like to put my name in that category, as well. That's been a lot of hard work on my shorter clubs over the last couple of years to get there. I'm trying to build a game that can compete at any event.
Q. Last week you played with Hideki Matsuyama. What did you see on his game and would you talk about what his strengths and weaknesses are.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I've played a lot with Hideki at Muirfield Village. The Presidents Cup, I played four matches with him there. And obviously Sunday at Memorial. He's an impressive young player, very strong and a great ball-striker. He doesn't have too many weaknesses. It's hard to say that anything is a weakness. There's lots of areas he's going to get better as he plays more and gets older. But, to me, the strength that stands out is his mental strength, really. Everyone struggled coming in there and I think somehow he handled it best and was able to hit a great shot into the 18th hole and make a birdie and then win a playoff. For a young kid, I think his mental strength is his biggest asset at the moment.
Q. Where do the chipping and putting demands of Pinehurst No. 2 compare to Royal Melbourne or Augusta National?
ADAM SCOTT: There are obviously similarities, because there are options. I think that's what all those courses give you when you're just off the surface. You have options on how to play it. They're all very demanding, here maybe the most. It's hard to say, depending which area you miss it in. There are some areas which you really don't want to find yourself and then there are some other areas which are fairly playable and you'll get away with missing. Everyone is going to miss a few more greens this week than they're used to. So they better be ready for that. And patience will be tested. But certainly these chipping areas provided you with a lot of different options on how to play a shot. So imagination is going to be a big thing.
BETH MAJOR: Thank you so much for joining us today. We wish you well throughout the week.
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