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Adam Scott Switches Back To Broomstick Putter

Scott using the long putter in today's pro-am at Royal Pines. (Photo: Henry Peters )
A decision to return to the long putter might just assist Adam Scott in finding winning form at the Australian PGA Championship.

Scott paraded the broomstick in today's practice round at Royal Pines and its addition to the bag shapes as an interesting move given his most recent victories came with the short putter at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and Honda Classic in consecutive weeks in March 2016.

Scott had initially introduced the long putter to his game in early 2011 as part of a series of measures that would see him rise to the top of the world ranking and win the 2013 Masters.  

Even though a lack of recent play could be used as an excuse for only one top 10 in seven starts since the US Open this year, a switch to the long putter could be just the catalyst for an immediate return to the sort of form that saw such success from the 37-year-old.

“I think I might give it a run this week,” said Scott when asked the question in his Wednesday media conference. “I haven't done that much work with it but it feels pretty good out there. Yeah, I think it might make the grade this week, I definitely feel very comfortable with it. 

“I've just noticed, like everybody else, that Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron make everything they look at and have done since the anchoring ban and moving it away from the body.

“It was actually pointed out to me that this year they both recorded the best ever putting stats since stats have been kept. Both of them beat the old best. You know, I don't know if it's just a coincidence or if they had just a really good year, but maybe they've found the best way to putt.

Adam Scott during his Wednesday practice round at Royal Pines.

Scott also talked about the progress the RACV Royal Pines layout had made since dramatic changes were made to the course as part of a major redevelopment in 2014 and 2015.

Scott won the 2013 Australian PGA in the last year of the old layout and there were murmurings that not everyone was happy with the revamped course but Scott talked positively on the manner in which the golf course has matured.

“For a local and someone who has known this place for a long time, the changes were quite drastic and a bit shocking almost, but now three, four years after it's all been changed, it's maturing a little bit. 

“You can see the greens are starting to receive some shots and it's probably playing more and more like the designer would have hoped.  But it's obviously taken some time so it's settling in. 

“There's a lot of grass out there this week, which is very nice, we get really good lies, but it's playing long. It's not firm and fiery at all, so it's going to play very long this week. That's certainly going to suit some of the guys in the field and not others but it's settling in. 

“I think it's hard for us to all be patient. We're all very spoilt and we all expect perfection straightaway. But it's really settling in nicely and I think it's going to play a little better each year as we keep going. So I'm very happy with the shape of the course this year.”

Scott has worked on a 'less is more' schedule in recent seasons especially in 2017 with the birth of his second child, Byron, and the resulting schedule adjustments that come with it.

“It wasn't so much the playing less. I'm kind of known as a bit of a part‑time golfer anyway out there. It was probably just the less practice this year. You know, the priorities just had to shift a little bit. I traveled a lot more and practiced a bit less and they were the challenges. 

“You know, the first half of the year I played okay but didn't get much out of it, and then since the US PGA, I mean really the focus hasn't been on the golf at all and that shows up when you're going to play in world‑class fields, there's no doubt. 

"But of course it's difficult not to be frustrated. If I'm going out to play, I want to play really well. But I also have taken a bit of a realistic attitude that back half of the year that I haven't prepared as well as I normally would like, and I do, I pride myself on being really prepared to play, but I'm learning as my career and life evolves and changes that I have to kind of temper that. 

“I think I'm going to have to learn to switch on and off a little bit more in the future. Little notes about different things like that to think about for the future.”

One potentially thorny issue that arose during the press conference was Scott's absence from last week's Australian Open.

Some thought his absence was because there was not enough money available in appearance money to cover the involvement of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Scott but Scott saw it differently. 

"It was more on the lines of the back half of this year just not really being about the golf. And I know it's the Aussie Open and it's a very dear tournament to any Australian, but sometimes you just can't play them all. 

"I've been away I think too much from my family and I had to decide not to play last week purely for that reason and try and get my commitments elsewhere all taken care of so I get the most time with my family.

"I'm sure I'll play a lot of Australian Opens in the future and I've played a lot in the past, too, so there's nothing really more than that."

The latter comment was perhaps designed to make some realise that he has regularly supported the Australian Open and this has been a hectic year for Scott and his family. 

In a surprise move by tournament organisers Scott will play with fellow marquee player Sergio Garcia early on day one, the pair out in the second group out at 6.10am with his good friend and last week's Hong Kong Open Champion Wade Ormsby.

It is an unfamiliar tee time for Scott but not one that bothers him unduly given the changing lifestyle that parenthood is bringing. 

"It's probably a 3:30 get up tomorrow, and fortunately my kids don't wake at 3:30. I'm used to getting up at 5:00. 3:30's very early but that's the time you need to get up really to be alert by 6:10 and switched on and ready to go.

"So I'll just do my normal routine that I do and then have a nap in the afternoon."

SIR BOB CHARLES ON GOLF'S FUNDAMENTALS

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