April 2, 2007–The same week a Golfweek writer picked Adam Scott to win this week's Masters, Scott, the former University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebel Golf All-American, went out and won the Houston Open. Scott hit a ball in the water on the final hole, but then drained a 40-footer to save par and win the tournament. "I was actually trying to lag it down there," Scott said in the press room after the victory. "It went right in the middle in the end. So, exciting way to finish, I guess. But I'm glad it's over." Scott now uses the win as momentum for The Masters. "I think it's a very fair preparation for (The Masters)," Scott said. "The rough is similar height; the greens somewhat similar in speed."
Read on for Complete Adam Scott Press Conference transcript and more Masters talk.
Official PGATOUR.com story … now.
JOE CHEMYCZ [Moderator]: We welcome Adam Scott to the interview room.
Adam, the winner of the 2007 Shell Houston Open with a victory today, 4,500 FedEx Cup points moves him to No. 6 on the FedEx Cup points standing list, also moves to No. 6 on the season money list. What a wild finish, maybe talk about the last couple of holes.
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah. It was crazy finish, actually, but I thought I was feeling pretty good going to the 17th and 18th tee — kind of got a gift from Stuart [Appleby]. I thought a couple pars would do it for sure, and with the last couple holes being pretty tough.
So I wasn't that surprised when I saw Stuart hit a good shot in there to 17 and roll the putt in.
He's not going to lie down for me, but I was pretty disappointed when I saw my tee shot kind of collect on the hill and go down in the water on 18. But I was really thinking that shot on 18 might still have a chance to win, at least be in a playoff.
Then obviously Stuart hit a poor shot, I guess, out of the bunker, and I was feeling pretty good again.
So, yeah, I was actually trying to lag it down there. It went right in the middle in the end. So, exciting way to finish, I guess. But I'm glad it's over.
CHEMYCZ: Similar finish, I guess, to the Players Championship with similar results making par on the 18th hole to win it.
SCOTT: Yeah. I mean, I don't know. Water down the left. It's not ideal for me, obviously on the hole. The hole at Houston to the right, and I hit it down the left in the water, same as Jacksonville [at the TPC at Sawgrass].
But I've gotten away with it twice, maybe, the third time will not be too lucky. We'll try and not do that again, but I was just trying to hit the right shot off the tee, and I just pulled it a little bit. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to commit a little better maybe and execute better.
Q.: There's no water to the left next week. I thought I would tell you that.
SCOTT: Left is OK next week.
Q.: Are you happy with how did you today, or are you expecting anything that you need to work on for next week for the Masters or anything like that?
SCOTT: Well, I'm very pleased with the result. I still think I've got some room for improvement in most areas of the game. But it was good for me to play in the heat of the battle again and just see what would happen and what kind of shots I was hitting and how the ball was coming out because it's been a couple months since I've been in that position. So just to know how to control your nerves a little bit will be good for me.
I still think I can do some work on my putting, although I thought it was pretty good today, which I'm happy about. Obviously next week putting is key factor of getting around the golf course.
Q.: Anything different you're going to do in a transition from this week to next week?
SCOTT: Just need some more practice. Need to trust myself a little more with the putting. A couple of my putts today, especially the left to righters, I didn't really commit and hit a good putt and kind of lagged it down there, and I'd rather see them roll in the hole.
Q.: Is it easier or harder to go head-to-head down the stretch with a guy who you've known for ages and pretty good friend of yours?
SCOTT: To be honest, I wasn't thinking about it at all. I think once it got down the stretch, the conversation kind of came to a minimum between everyone in the group, really, and it was time to knuckle down and get on with the job.
But it's not that I don't think of him as a friend coming down the stretch, but he's a competitor, and certainly I don't want to just lie down to give my friend a victory.
Q.: For some people, you hate losing to friends more than somebody you don't know.
SCOTT: Yeah. No, I wouldn't want to lose to Stuart, give up the bragging rights obviously. This is a one-up I've got on him — for a little while anyway.
Q.: Stuart has his theories. Why do Australians play well on this course?
SCOTT: On this course? I don't know. What did Stuart say?
Q.: He said it fits his game.
SCOTT: He's playing good here. I think it fits my game, too, especially with the rough being down. There's not much penalty for missing the fairway.
So, it was really pretty wide open even. Though the fairways were fair, the rough wasn't that penalizing, and that allowed me to free up a little with the driver, I think.
Q.: Adam, did it go through your mind at all today that he was defending champion, when he makes a birdie at 17?
SCOTT: Actually, yeah, about then I said, "Good for him. He's making a run at it." Because I've been in that position myself, and you really want to defend your titles. I've only done it once in my career, but a couple other times I've had chances to. You really want to have a crack and it just showed me he's got a lot of heart and it didn't come off on 18 for him, but certainly by making the birdie on 17, it showed me something that he he's still fighting.
Q.: All week you really punished the front nine, the back nine not so much. I wondered when you made the turn, was there any apprehension in terms of, you know, how much of a move you would have to make.
SCOTT: Yeah. Every day I was looking to continue what I had done on the front nine, and I was waiting for the day where I shot 10 under or something, and it never really happened.
Yesterday I think was my chance to and I wasted a few out there, and also actually the day before I had a good chance to do it, as well. Putting on the back nine was poor, but it's funny because in the pro-am I made six birdies on the back nine.
Q.: What did you walk away thinking of your chances last night when it was dark and you're 11 under?
SCOTT: You know, if I had made a couple birdies this morning, it would have been hard to catch up — six back, I think, that would have put me. That's a lot of shots to make up, especially around this course, which really suits him.
But there's a lot of pressure playing on Sunday on the PGA Tour. And this is actually the first time I've won a tournament coming from behind.
Q.: Adam, you have some kind of deep connection with the Houston area, either through the Harmon family or getting a sponsor's exemption. Could you talk about what the win means to you.
SCOTT: Steve Timms [Shell Houston Open tournament director] gave me invites for a few years here early on in my career, which I was very appreciative of. And I haven't played here for a couple years, and so it was nice to come back and certainly not repaying the debt, but nice to see friendly faces again.
And obviously, you know, a close friend of mine was Dick Harmon. And to be out here where he was teaching again and I saw him here the last time I was here, I spent sometime with Dick. And that's a nice feeling, and it will be nice for Butch [Harmon]. Maybe Dick was on my side coming down the 18th today.
Q.: Adam, everybody knows what happened last year with Phil [Mickelson] winning the week before the Masters. Do you have any kind of that feeling this year or a totally different deal?
SCOTT: You can't really assume those kind of things. I'm sure Phil felt confident going to Augusta last year. I think he rumped it in Atlanta by 13 or something. I'm sure he's feeling pretty confident with himself. I feel great about my game, but I'm certainly not predicting a win at Augusta next week, although I'm feeling better now going into it than I did at the start of the week.
Q.: Did you feel at any point this week you had to adjust because of the wind at one point, very windy conditions, and the rain and the wet course or anything like that in your mind? Or physically did you have to adjust every day to a different scenario to focus completely to get where you were to win this tournament?
SCOTT: Certainly on the weekend everything changed. The course was playing firm and fast early in the week, and then we had the bad weather, it played long and soft over the weekend.
So, yeah, I changed my ball flight a little bit and tried to get the driver in the air a bit longer and get all the distance I could out of it.
But, it would have been interesting to play the course over the weekend with firm and fast conditions because it would have been quite a challenge. Mine, that is the way we all really want to play golf in those firm conditions, but I seemed to make the adjustment alright.
Q.: What kind of conversation did you have with yourself on the 18th tee to your ball and waiting for Stuey to hit his second shot and all that?
SCOTT: I was trying not to be to down on myself. I was in pretty good position. I still felt like "Hit it on the green and two putts, 5." Stuey can make 3 out of the bunker, then that's credit to him, but I've been in that bunker twice already this week. So it's not that easy, especially that back flag kind of hanging over the water.
So, I felt pretty comfortable, and I ended up giving myself a pretty good yardage on the drop.
Q.: What did you hit in?
SCOTT: Hit 7-iron from 192. It went a bit further than I thought, but the wind was helping, so I kind of put everything to my advantage there. I was disappointed I hit it in the water. It was not my best drive, but it wasn't a quick hook in the water, either. Just was a little bit too far left.
Q.: Not long after that, you're watching the putt from almost 50 feet go in. That wasn't one fist pump, that was two fist pumps. Can you sort of describe what went through you at that point after having
SCOTT: It was relief along with elation, I guess. I was really just trying to lag it down there close and leave myself no work at all to do. Going over the hill, it was on a good line and kind of came back to the right just a hair, as I thought it might, and went right in the middle.
So, I was pretty happy for it to be all over with, because it was looking a bit messy — hole 18 for me and Stuey and Jeff [Maggert] all in the water. It was nice to get it all done.
Q.: Adam, how much did you leaderboard watch today, particularly when there was a threesome out there behind you?
SCOTT: I saw the leaderboard maybe on 12 or 13 and saw Stuey and I were still out in front. I knew it was really going on between me and Stuey.
Q.: When did you first realize you were tied for the lead?
SCOTT: Maybe about the ninth.
Q.: Is winning from behind a big thing in your mind to have gotten that out of the way, because you've been very good at protecting leads?
SCOTT: Right. Yeah. I could never really put a finger on why I hadn't had that win coming from behind. I played some good rounds, and I generally played OK on Sundays, and I've shot some low scores. I never did it in L.A. last year [at the Nissan Open], but Rory [Sabbatini] really hung on. I don't know what it is. I've done well from out in front, but not from behind.
That's a good thing that I know I can do.
Q.: Is there anything that did you specifically today when you woke up and walked up to the first tee, say "OK, this is what I need to really focus on"? What was on your mind in order for you to win this tournament today?
SCOTT: The only thing that I really focused on was trying to keep myself doing everything at normal speed, especially down the stretch.
I think it's kind of natural for everyone to kind of get walking quicker and doing everything quicker, especially walking around the greens. Looking at the line, I made conscious effort to walk slowly and just try to keep everything at a slow pace. Otherwise you get doing everything quick and it's too easy to make mistakes that way.
Q.: Having been through a week now at this course, what is your take on how well it prepares guys for the next week?
SCOTT: I think it's a very fair preparation for next week. The rough is similar height; the greens somewhat similar in speed. You can't compare golf courses because they're completely different, but it's a nice week, actually, because it's generous off the tee. Augusta is kind of generous off the tee.
Also we saw it playing kind of firm on the first couple days, which was because no matter how much it rains at Augusta, the greens are going to bounce out a little bit. They can dry them out overnight and
Q.: Adam, everyone just kind of raved about the condition and quality of the golf course. Could you maybe give a final word about that. Were you pleasantly surprised
SCOTT: I was extremely impressed with the condition of the golf course. I think any event will be hard-pressed to present a better one this year. It was magnificent; never had a bad lie all week in the fairways. The fairways were beautiful. The greens were beautiful.
You know, they did well keeping it in great shape, even after all the rain, especially the bunkers because they must have been beaten up.
Q.: Do you like the layout?
SCOTT: Yeah. I think it's a pleasant course to play. I said at the beginning of the week, 20-under would win, even in the wind.
It's not a really demanding golf course, but obviously the way it played the first two days, it was trickier than everyone probably thought. And I think it's a nice event to come to, and you can make some birdies, and you can play shots.
The greens are big in size, but if you get on the wrong side of some of those slopes, putting becomes very difficult around here. You've got to be in the right areas on the green. That's probably one of the keys to this course.
Q.: What do you think is going to be your favorite snapshot moment from this week?
SCOTT: I'm not really too sure. Yesterday's round I played really good, but probably my 3-wood into 15 today. I think that was a pretty good shot of 288 or something I had to the hole. I striped a 3-wood in there, especially when I had some problems with that club.
Q.: How close did you get?
SCOTT: I don't know, about 30 feet or 35 feet.
Q.: When is the last time you went from such aggravation to elation on one hole like you did on 18?
SCOTT: Probably the Players [Championship]. I think I handled myself a little better this time than there. I was a little concerned. Especially for a week that back then I had been working on my chipping, and I leave myself one of the hardest pins out there.
Q.: How much pride is there in having bounced back from you shot 80 on the last round you played before you came here, which would not be the biggest confidence booster in the world, and four rounds later you're even richer?
SCOTT: I was a little down on myself. I was disappointed in myself last Sunday. Believe it or not, I actually played quite well all week and made big numbers on Thursday. I made a 10 on one hole and a double on the last to shoot 4 over. I was actually playing quite well, and then it got away from me on Sunday. I didn't swing my best and putted poorly. So those two combinations added up to 80, unfortunately, around a tough track.
But, I got the work done on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday here that I needed to on my swing, and my swing stayed with me for the whole week, and my putting improved over the week. That's a good sign.
Like I said at the start of the week, I really needed to be in contention this week to take something out of it and see how I'm doing, and I can feed off that for next week now.
Q.: Can you remember winning while having fought your putting, because you haven't sounded happy with your putting at all throughout the week?
SCOTT: No. No, I haven't. I was grinding with it today. It was hard work. Last year I putted really, really well the second half of the year, and the stroke was really flowing, and I didn't quite feel that today. And that's something that I'd like to have going for next week.
Q.: Are there any adjustments you're thinking about making with what did you this week?
SCOTT: Maybe just working on my stance a little bit. I don't know what I'm going to do yet.
Q.: How much golf have you played with Stuey?
SCOTT: I've played a lot with Stuey over the last seven, eight years. I've played a lot of golf, especially in Australia. We get paired together a lot down there.
Once he gets over being disappointed about not winning today, he'll feel pretty good about himself going into next week because he's kind of like me. He's looking for a bit of form coming into Augusta, and I think he can take a lot out of this week, too.
Q.: Crazy match play?
SCOTT: Little bit, yeah. It's funny what happens coming down the stretch. We were solid all day and, all of a sudden, a couple of funny shots happened.
Q.: Why do you think that happens?
SCOTT: Well, a couple of times for me — I mean 16 tee shot was the weird one for me. I had 205, and the ball was traveling so far. I was hitting a 6-iron. I thought if I hit this good, it's going to go over the back of the green. I tried to take some off and squirted it out to the right. Just stuff like that. It's the club you've got to hit, but I didn't commit to hitting the right shot. I was trying to hit the easy one. I didn't want to get cute with it and wind up and hit a bad one anyway.