No smoke and mirrors for Scott

Posted by on June 13, 2019  /   Posted in golf news

by Mark Hayes on Pebble Beach

Adam Scott during his practice round at the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach.

Adam Scott is not known for self-glorification, even when it could easily be justified by his star career.

So when he starts talking to himself on the eve of this US Open, you can take two things as read – first that he will soon try to process the comments, and second that he is legitimate in peak form.

The Queenslander has twice finished this American PGA Tour season – in Torrey Pines in January, and then again at Memorial a few weeks ago.

And although both were clearly not what he ideally had in mind, he began to feel that something special was brewing – perhaps he was almost reluctant to agree, just as there had been in 2011 and 2012 before his breakthrough Masters in 2013 triumphed.

"A bit, yes. Certainly (from) tee to green it is very strong and back in a place where I would have set it up with my best things," Scott said after his last practice session on Pebble Beach today.

"Everyone looks at how I hit the ball, but in the last 12-18 months my short game was very good and I leaned a lot this year to get these good results to be very honest.

"And if I am critical, it has been rather an ironic game and a bit of a drive that has not been that sharp, but at Memorial it was a stepping stone to the ball.

"The results were good throughout the season (2016), but right now my short game is better than what it was then and that's a positive because it gives you the feeling that you can go on the course and not too safe have to play.

"I don't have to play like an idiot here and shoot at pins hanging over the ocean, but I can take a few shots and know that I'm sure I can get out of trouble with the greens.

"And my bunker game is really good too. I'm talking about myself here, but it frees you. It helps my long game come back to where you need to be."

That humble self-correction aside, that's pretty telling things.

Just like he did in 2011 and 2012, Scott builds up this week based on a strong big championship formula – third in last year's US PGA championship in August, T18 on the Masters after a head start on mid-April and eight on this year of PGA in May.

And he is, as always, aware that important results are how careers are ultimately assessed.

"Unless you win five consecutive tour events, the majors are really very special. Then you leave the PGA last August and it's eight months until you get another crack in it," he said.

"Now we have five weeks here (including next month's Open Championship) and then the majors are still nine months away, so you have to make it if you want something special to happen.

"But it is all moving in the right direction, there is confidence and I love the way this course sets me up. A bit like the PGA, I'm just looking forward to starting, and that's a nice place to be.

"I am in position and I am not completely over yet. So my game is at a level where something big can happen.

"It's not smoke and mirrors, it's really good."

Scott, as his pre-majors use becomes, spent a few days before the tournament in the host course, in love with Pebble Beach all over again.

And he admitted breaking through for a win – he finished twice in the top 10 – would be a double special on the California milestone.

"Yes. It's spectacular. It (would be the same as winning) the Open at St Andrews. It is perhaps the most spectacular location for a golf tournament in the world. It's great and spectacular here, just beautiful.

"(My preparation) was great. I haven't played much here over the years (in the AT & T Pro-Am) and played in February, although I did the last two, I don't think it helped me , except that I was here.

"So it was really good to take it and I definitely have the feeling that I have some knowledge of the golf course and it feels like it fits in with what I do well."

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