Here are two types of people in golf: those who have a crush on Adam Scott and those who want to be him — at least for one MTV Spring Break Cancun trip. Scott, 25, is ranked seventh in the world at the moment, and what is, like, waaaaaaaay cooler, is that he'sgolf's reigning matinee idol. From appearing on Esquire's best-dressed list to being the headlining hunk on Internet message boards where young girls declare their undying love for him, Scott, like Tiger before him, is ushering new fans to the game, albeit ones with Britney Spears CDs and freshly minted driver's permits.
Beyond his pin-up appeal, Scott's been coming into his game this year. He shot a 6-under 65 to win the Singapore Open in September, notched a victory at the Nissan Open and tied for second at the Booz Allen Classic. Scott's now making a play for consistency and hoping the result will be a few majors in his tailored Burberry pockets. Plus he's 13th on the money list, so now — as if the looks, youth and talent trifecta isn't enough — he also can pay cash for the entire block you live on.
Alison Whitaker, the Australian girl who made the semifinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur this summer, said she wanted to meet you. Have you heard from her?
No, I don't know who she is. I just knew an Australian made it a long ways in the tournament.
Another broken heart. Do you still have a steady girlfriend?
Yeah, Marie Kojzar. We've been together four years, a record for me. She's an interior designer, a year younger than me, 23. No, she's 24. I forgot I was 25. I'm getting old.
Are you comfortable with all the attention you receive from your female admirers?
It takes you off guard a little bit. (Pause.) I'm a little uncomfortable, probably because I don't expect it at all. I expect people to be watching golf. But it's cool. I think it's a good thing for golf to see young, good-looking guys out there. There are a bunch of us and it's good for the game, making it cool, sexy — it should be encouraged.
Will you do a pin-up calendar like the LPGA's Natalie Gulbis?
You're not going to see me in a calendar any time soon, although Natalie's is cool. I know Natalie and she signed a copy for me in Vegas at the Butch Harmon School.
What did Marie think of that?
That's why I left it in Vegas. She won't let me hang that up in the house.
What's the most memorable request or comment from a female fan? Some can get pretty brazen.
It's the older ladies who are a bit more straightforward with you, which is cool. It's fun to joke around a bit. For some reason they think they need their breasts signed. That's requested quite often.
Tell me about it. Fred Couples told me he's received some interesting mail from the ladies.
Oh, boy. I've had a couple propositions where they'd love to have a game of golf with you if you're ever in, you know, Shreveport or something. I haven't got any letters smelling of perfume, but I have got a few notes on the golf course. I got one at the (2004) Booz Allen. I had a look at it on the way to the tee before the final round.
And how'd that turn out?
I won the tournament! It got me so excited that I won the tournament. But then, unfortunately, I had to get on a plane and go back to London. I think she wanted to play a little night golf.
Was she one of those brazen older ladies?
No! A brazen young woman. What's the best Tour stop for the ladies?
I hear the Byron Nelson (in Irving, Texas), but I've never been there. And I've never been to Phoenix either.
Who's a bigger flirt, you or Sergio?
Sergio. If he says me, he's lying.
Who's a better closer?
Let's say you're both single.
Sergio. He's got the gift of the gab, that guy. He's smooth. I don't know what they see in him, but he's smooth.
Switching gears. Burberry is pretty high-end for golf togs. How many suits do you own?
(Pause.) Seven? Ten? I've probably only worn two of them. They're not all Burberry — probably only half of them are. I love suits. I buy a couple each year, but I never have the occasion to wear them.
I have a lot of jeans. I wear them all the time. I love jeans.
Anything you'd change about yourself?
I'd like to be, not a little more aggressive, but a little more assertive with people. I kind of bottle my anger or comments. I probably should be a little more straightforward.
Do you lack the killer instinct to win a major?
No. On the golf course that's not a problem. I think the (2004) Players Championship was a good example. I could have just folded after hitting it in the water (on the 18th hole), missed the putt and lost in a playoff. There was no way I was going to miss that putt.
Perilous finish — what's the most dangerous thing you've ever done?
I'm about to go skydiving at home, on the Gold Coast. Hopefully with an instructor who's really good. (Laughs.)
You still live in London?
Yes. And I bought a place back home in Australia a year ago. It's an apartment, but it's bigger than the one in London. You get more for your money there. It's in Surfer's Paradise, a block off the water.
You've hung out at your mentor Greg Norman's place in Florida. What's the best advice he has given you?
He sets a good example with time management. There's a lot going on out here. The one piece of advice he gave me was to start playing in Europe. I was 19 when I turned pro, and at the time I thought I was invincible and ready for everything. I swallowed my pride because I respect his opinion. He thought I'd do really well in Europe, and I did do really well, and it groomed me for the U.S.
And now, groomed and ready for everything, what are your goals?
It's all about winning tournaments, winning as many trophies as I can. I'd like to lift my performances in the majors. I think that's just going to happen with consistency in all events, just playing more consistent every week so that on my bad weeks I'm running 30th or 40th rather than missing the cut and taking the weekend off. And in my good weeks I have a chance to win. If I do that I'll be in a better frame of mind, knowing that if I'm not quite on I should get by, and if I'm on I can give myself a chance to win every week.
What are the benefits of playing in the U.S. versus Europe?
It's the best test of golf week in and week out. Some great courses, tough courses. You really need to challenge yourself. If you're doing well over here then you know you're on the right track because you're playing against some unbelievable fields and also some unbelievable courses, like Sawgrass.
Have you ever played for your own cash?
Yeah, absolutely — it's a lot of pressure because I hate losing. The most I've ever won is $9,000. It started out as just a friendly match, but we made the bet for some incentive so we'd play well and not waste our time on the course. I refused to take the money, and then he insisted. I don't want to say who it was, just a friend of mine. I'm sure he'll win it back.
It wasn't Norman, was it?
No, it was an amateur. I was giving shots away all over the place. He just had an off day.
Did he used to play for the Chicago Bulls?
No, it was no one famous.
Your fame would go off the charts if you won a major, but with the exception of a top-10 at The Masters you've been strangely quiet in them.
Give me a break. I have one other top-10, at the PGA last year. If I can win one over the next five years I'm on a good track. My career has been a steady path, not a meteoric rise. I know I need to putt better, and as soon as I start doing that I'm going to be contending in them all the time.
If you could steal part of another player's game, what would it be?
I'd love to putt better, so I'd like to putt like Tiger or Greg.
Tiger goes on and on about how many miles he does. Do you run?
I train with Vern McMillan and we do stretching, strength-rotation stuff, very little weights. I don't run. I ride the bike.
You came on Tour with another Aussie, Aaron Baddeley. Are you surprised he hasn't won yet?
Yes and no. Yes, because he's extremely talented and has the talent to win. No, because it's so difficult to win out here. It's tough to break through. There are a lot of great players.
People in the media tried really hard to gin up a rivalry between you and Aaron, but it didn't work, did it?
I have a rivalry with everyone I play against. Sergio and I could have quite a rivalry on the golf course. We were both playing well down the stretch at the Booz Allen (this year), and he got the better of me.
You're still tight with another Australian, Geoff Ogilvy?
We just went on holiday with Geoff. Him and his wife and me and Marie went to Biarritz, France, and did some surfing. And I'm tight with Justin Rose and Ian Poulter. The older players don't want to go out at night.
Besides you, which Australian is most likely to win a major?
You've got to figure Stuart Appleby.
Would you change anything you've done over the last 10 years?
Really no. I've put myself in some good positions and taken advantage of some of them. Not even your decision to attend UNLV? You didn't last much more than a year there. Nope. It was an incredible life experience. I learned a lot. I left midway through the fall semester.
Did you tell coach Dwaine Knight?
He was out of the country. I told the assistant and he told Dwaine. I got to meet with him when he got back. I think he was disappointed, and maybe upset, but it's in the past now.
It all worked out pretty well.
It worked out great for me. I think Dwaine came to understand that I had a different viewpoint than him on the whole college thing.
You were just in it for the gambling.
Absolutely. I'd learned how to play every game and how to beat the casinos, and then got out of there while I was still ahead.