• Winning last year’s Player Championship was a huge step in my career. It put me to the level of world-class golfer instead of some kid with potential. It’s still a little unreal to think I’ve got that trophy in my living room.
• It probably did me more good to hit it in the water on the last hole at Sawgrass and get up-and-down to win than if I’d just knocked the approach on and two-putted. Dealing with that pressure did a lot for my game, experience-wise.
• This year, it’s all about winning as many trophies as I can. And I’d like to lift my performances in the majors. I also need to be more consistent, so in my bad weeks I’m running 30th or 40th rather than missing the cut.
• You’ve got to be tough, because Vijay, Tiger, Ernie–they just want to beat the heck out of everybody. You can’t beat those guys if you don’t have that frame of mind. People have said I’m too nice and lack the killer instinct, but that’s definitely changed. It was once a fair assessment, though when I’m in with a chance to win I usually do. I’ve led eight times after 54 holes and won seven–that’s a pretty good record.
• A few years ago, it was flattering to be compared to Tiger and that people thought I’d challenge the guy. He’s still in a different league–I know that. I just hope I can get the upper hand on him a couple of times.
• I don’t open up until I get to know someone. I’m kind of a quiet person. I don’t let too much bother me. I’m fairly relaxed, and that helps me on the course.
• I speak to Greg Norman a lot. At the end of last year, I had a tough call whether to play in the Australian Open or the Skins Game. I didn’t know what to do. I knew I was going to take some heat if I didn’t go back home. In the end, I decided on the Skins Game because it’s a special opportunity, and you never know if you’re going to be invited back. I turn to Greg for advice on that kind of stuff. It’s nice that he bothers to take the time to help me.
• There are pictures of me holding a golf club at age 2, but I didn’t actually start playing until I was 6. My dad is a professional and my mum also plays.
• I dropped out of university after a year. I don’t regret it. I learned a lot, and it opened a lot of doors for me, but it didn’t help my golf.
• All the young guys on Tour inspire each other. When one of us plays well it inspires the rest of us to work even harder. We feed off each other. It’s a natural rivalry.
• I think my clothing is conservative. Compared with guys like Aaron Baddeley and Charles Howell III, my Burberry checks are fairly bland. I don’t wear pink trousers or anything.
• I love being in the water–but I could use some surfing lessons. Last year, after the third round at the Mercedes Championships in Hawaii, I scared myself. The swell was up–at least six feet–and I paddled out. That’s as big a wave as I’ve ever been in. I went to paddle under one when I first got out there, and I was nervous. But I had to catch one to get back in, so I did. I got tumbled around pretty bad!
Dialed In with Adam Scott
World Ranked: 12
Turned Pro: 2000
Joined the PGA Tour: 2003
Career PGA Tour Earnings: $5,614,436
PGA Tour Wins: (3) 2003 Deutsche Bank Championship; 2004 Players Championship, Booz Allen Classic
International Wins: (4) 2001 Alfred Dunhill PGA Championship; 2002 Qatar Masters, Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship; 2003 Scandic Carlsberg Scandinavian Masters
Also… Finished seventh on the 2004 PGA Tour money list, with more than $3.7 million… Works with Tiger Woods’s former coach, Butch Harmon… Was the youngest player at 2003 Presidents Cup… In 2002, finished T9 in his first Masters… Attended UNLV for one year… The only player whose pgatour.com bio lists both “biographies” and “fashion” among his special interests.
–Additional reporting by Stuart Hood