Adopting a more aggressive approach to course management appears to have Adam Scott trending in the right direction as he aims for a second Australian Open to break a three-year winning drought.
Since his victory at the 2020 Genesis Invitational on the PGA Tour a month prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Scott has endured a lean stretch. However, his world ranking has hovered inside the top 50 all year.
With top-10 results in four of his past seven starts – including finishing sixth at last’s week’s Fortinet Australian PGA at Royal Queensland, Scott admits to playing quite nicely at the moment.
“It’s always great to come back and play the Aussie Open, the tournament that means so much to all Australians. It has a great history and one I’ve been lucky enough to win, but also had a lot of close calls,” Scott said.
After being one stroke off the lead at the halfway point of the PGA, Scott tapered off over the weekend when Min Woo Lee motored to a 20-under winning score. Scott revealed in a pre-Australian Open media conference that he’s altered his mental approach to take advantage of the aggressive style of play that’s become the norm in professional golf.
“I think one of the big areas of adjustment for me over the past 12 months is the analysing of the golf course and the course-management strategy. I think working with [Italian professional] Edoardo Molinari for the past 12 months and understanding the best way to play courses and create enough opportunities so you can get to 20-under. It’s unlikely you’re going to finish 20-under with 20 birdies, so you’re really going to have to somehow make probably 26 birdies and therefore you’ve got to create an awful lot of birdie chances just to make 26.
“So the game is a way more aggressive game today. It’s a more inconsistent game because of that, but if you want to win, you’re going to have to create all those opportunities and make them as well. So, I’ve definitely adjusted my style of play to suit the modern player because the approach to managing the golf course is completely different than the way I learned. It’s a bit different at the majors. [At] the majors the penalty for error is still really high, but generally week to week at tour events it’s not.
“I would sum it up by saying attacking is a better way. You have to accept some bad results because you’re going for it. And if you’re not on, then you’re going to have a bad score. But you’re looking for those five or six weeks a year where you go for it and you’re on and you make a tonne of birdies and you get the big results.”
Now in his 24th year on tour, Scott concedes he’s had to learn new ways to score. For instance, it’s not his natural instinct to take driver from the tee and aim for the left rough for a better scoring opportunity.
“It’s taken a bit to get comfortable with that and adapt my style of play. I think I’m doing a better job of it and I think it’s worked. I’ve shot more scores in the mid-60s this year and that’s a good sign and I just need to do it four rounds, not three.”
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