29 February, 2024
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Adam Scott’s plan to win the Open and defy young guns

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Australian Open title hopeful Adam Scott believes the days of conservative golf winning tour events may be over with attack the best way forward. 

Come what may, Scott is promising to take on co-hosts The Australian and The Lakes layouts in pursuit of an elusive second Open triumph.

He’d rather that than watch another fearless youngster run off with the Stonehaven Cup like 25-year-old sensation Min Woo Lee did on Sunday at the Australian PGA Championship with a 20-under-par total at Royal Queensland.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s about finding more out of your game. It’s about identifying the opportunities on the course,” Scott said ahead of Thursday’s first round.

“One of the big areas of adjustment for me over the past, I’ll just say 12 months, is the analysing of the golf course and the course management strategy working with Edoardo Molinari 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.

“Therefore you’ve got to create an awful lot of birdie chances just to make 26.”

Despite golf’s ruling bodies working on technological ways to rein in the big-hitters, Scott – now one of the game’s elder statesmen a decade after winning the Masters and becoming world No.1 – says the sport has likely changed forever. 

“The game is a way more aggressive game today,” he said.

“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.

“It’s a bit different at the majors. The majors, the penalty for error is still really high, but generally week to week at tour events it’s not.

“So 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 ton of birdies and you get the big results.”

Scott has frustratingly finished runner-up three times, including last year, since winning the Australian Open for the only time in 2009.

The 43-year-old yearns to have his name engraved on the trophy alongside the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player and other legends at least once more.

Just as his celebrated compatriot Cameron Smith craves to win it for a first time.

“Growing up as a kid, you want to win your national open. It means everything,” said Smith, who came closest to winning in 2016 when he lost a play-off to Jordan Spieth at Royal Sydney.

The top-ranked player in the field and 2022 British Open champion is hoping to hit back with a vengeance after missing the PGA Championship cut last Friday.

 Adam Scott expects Cameron Smith (pic) to be a contender at the Australian Open. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS 

Scott warned fans to write Smith of at their peril. 

“No doubt there was disappointment but this happens unfortunately in golf and his self-pride will make him turn it around,” Scott said.

“He’s too good a player to accept that and no doubt he’ll be looking to redeem himself this week and I’d be surprised if he’s not contending come the weekend.

“There’s nothing to read into a couple of bad rounds of golf for Cam Smith at this point.”

For the second year running, the Open will be a world-only dual-gender tournament and Scott would love to see Min Woo’s world No.5 sister Minjee win the women’s event.

“I’m a fan of Minjee. She’s great for Australian golf, she’s great for the game of golf,” he said.

“I like her style on the golf course. It would be good for the game to have a dominant player and I think she’s capable of that and winning multiple Australian Opens.”

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