Scott has already accumulated a good record at RACV Royal Pines, winning in 2013 and finishing runner-up on the then half remodelled layout in 2014.
This year Scott tackles a totally revamped layout and in his media conference today he discussed his thought son the challenge the new look golf course presents
“The course has definitely toughened up the back 9 since I last played it and it’s going to be a real challenge this week, especially with it being warm and windy,” said Scott.
“The back 9 showed last year it’s already had some victims and I’m sure there are going to be a few more. It’s going to be really important to get the ball on the green this week and stay out of these low chipping areas that are very, very difficult to play from. A new challenge, but looking forward to it. I’m very happy to be here and feel like my game was in good shape today, so I’m optimistic about how I’ll go this week.”
Two years ago Scott, Greg Chalmers and Wade Ormbsy began a playoff that eventually lasted seven holes before Chalmers took the title, a year after Scott had defeated Rickie Fowler into second place and Scott knows that the new look 18th hole will prove a far greater test than was the case back then.
"That would be tough, doing that one seven times (again) It would be very, very difficult. The old one, not too much has changed off the drive, but the shot in there is extremely demanding, playing straight into the wind today and there’s no room for error left or right. You’ve just got to hit a great shot to be on that green and if you do, then you’ve got a really good chance of birdie. It’s certainly a hole where you want to finish strong.
Scott feels his game today was in better shape than was the case last week at the World Cup and explained why.
“I practised a little bit yesterday and that felt quite good, straightened a few things out that were slipping away from me on the course at times. It’s nothing major, for me it always is around fundamentals, whether it’s posture or alignment or grip or something like that. When I stand over the ball with all the fundamentals in good shape, I generally make good swings at it.
“I know it sounds obvious but playing in windy conditions or trying to hit different kinds of shots and you move your alignment and your ball position around, it can just fall out of that quite easily. The challenge is always keeping it in a nice neutral spot and I think I got it back in there yesterday and certainly on the back 9 today I felt I hit a lot of really nice shots.
“As long as I can keep it there for this week, I think I can manage my way around and like I said, if you’re hitting a lot of greens here, I think you’re going to be at a big advantage.”
One of the things Scott has been guilty of in the past has been an inability to start tournaments as quickly as he finishes them and nobody knows it more than Scott himself.
It was something that plagued him before winning his first major and a decision around the time of the 2012 Open Championship to address that issue has seen him with far greater success in major golf and tournaments generally.
It appears however that it is something that he needs to remind himself of and he mentioned how best he overcomes such an issue and even made mention of the fact that it is an issue that has cost him in recent weeks.
“I think there are lots of things that go into it but I feel a little more confident with where my striking is and my putting and my chipping in the last couple of weeks, so a little bit of confidence might help that going in and not playing so cautiously right from the get-go.
“Sometimes you’ve got to take the mindset like Thursday is Sunday and that’s it, there’s only one round, to try and shoot the lowest round of the day, win the day or whatever game you want to play in your head, sometimes you’ve got to do that when you want to make a point of getting off to a good start or change the way you’ve been starting.
“I think I’ve started fairly cautiously, certainly in Sydney anyway. I don't think it cost me the Tournament but I was on the back foot right from the start. I need to get a little more on the front foot and believe I’m going to hit a few good shots and go for it right from the get-go.”
Scott is looking forward to a more then two month break after this event but is aware that he needs to remain focused if he is to take out his second Australian PGA Championship.
“I’m going to be around the Gold Coast until February, until I go back to the States and play in Los Angeles over there most likely. It will be nice to spend some time at home with the family, very much looking forward to a bit of a break but don’t want to let my mind drift into that just yet."
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