From sharing a locker with legend Gary Player to inspiring victories by fellow Australians, reigning Masters champion Adam Scott is still feeling the buzz from his first major title.
Scott played dream rounds at Augusta National last weekend with his father and served up authentic Moreton Bay Bugs and his mother’s homemade dessert on the Champions Dinner menu on Tuesday night.
And despite the extra distractions, Scott remains confident that he can join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo as the only back-to-back Masters winners after Sunday’s final round.
“I would like to add my name to that list this week,” Scott said Tuesday.
“I don’t know if there are answers to why only (a few) guys have managed to repeat their performance. It’s just one of those things.
“I certainly don’t think any of the responsibilities are so draining that it’s going to cost you having a good week.”
Scott has been enjoying himself since arriving back at Augusta National last Friday, notably in his first visits to the Champions Locker Room.
“Going up in the Champions Locker Room has been a dream come true,” Scott said. “It has a lot of fun to see the guys up there and to see them hanging out around the tables is quite an incredible experience for me.
“I want to try to enjoy all that, but I also want to really get my head into playing well this week because I think I’m in good form.”
Still, it’s hard to ignore a legendary lockermate in Player, the South African icon who pioneered the globetrotting golf era Scott now enjoys.
“He gets a lot of mail, so there’s not a lot of room for myself in there, but we make it work,” Scott said. “That’s OK. My stuff is kind of scattered around a bit on the floor.”
Scott’s form appeared a bit scattered last month at Bay Hill, when he led the Arnold Palmer Invitational by seven strokes after 36 holes only to squander the lead in the final round and lose, missing a chance to become world No.1 with a victory.
“I feel I’m playing really well,” Scott said. “I really like the last couple week’s work I’ve done, the game was there at Bay Hill and I’ve just tried to keep it there and I felt like it was getting to a place where it needed to contend here.
“Hopefully I’ve sharpened it up a little more since then, but I’m definitely feeling a lot more comfortable on this golf course. And certainly winning, the confidence you take from that helps as well, so I look forward to playing Thursday.”
It’s also time to leave his green jacket in his new locker after taking it with him around the world for a year, unless he wins again.
“That motivated me to work harder that last week at home and try and get myself into some kind of form that can maybe go back-to-back and keep the jacket for another year,” Scott said.
Six other Australians are at the Masters, three of them after wins in the past month that in part they said were inspired by Scott’s breakthrough, the first Masters win by an Australian on a course were Aussie icon Greg Norman was teased multiple times.
“I don’t know that I’ve changed golf in Australia, but I think it all happens in cycles and it comes along every once in awhile and there’s a lift. Last year was my turn,” Scott said.
“I know all these guys well, and they have all got the ability to do it. It’s motivation when you see the other guys that you know well doing it. You’re certainly very pleased for them but you also have that thing where you believe it can be yourself doing it.”