Saturday, January 20, 2018 | ePaper

Aussie Scott shakes up schedule in search of Open glory

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AFP, Irvine :

Adam Scott is hoping a change in his usual schedule to play in this week's Scottish Open will be pivotal in ending a 24-year Australian win drought at the Open Championship.
The current world number 15 and former Masters champion is contesting the Scottish Open which begins Thursday for the first time since sharing fourth place behind Germany's Martin Kaymer at Loch Lomond in 2009.
In the intervening eight years Scott has preferred to spend the week before the British Open playing practice rounds at the venue for the year's third major.
"I've had a bit of a schedule change this year for lots of different reasons," Scott said.
"The last year and a half or so, I haven't played as well in the majors as I would have liked and we all put so much focus on the majors now.
"It was time to change it up because my plan wasn't really working."
Scott has practised already at Royal Birkdale, venue for next week's Open Championship, and will from Thursday tee it up on the Scottish west coast for the $7 million event being staged for the first time on the Dundonald links.
It is five years since Scott imploded when leading by four shots with four to play at Royal Lytham and St Annes to lose the Claret Jug to Ernie Els.
Nine months later, Scott spectacularly made amends to become the first Australian to win the Masters at Augusta National.
Greg Norman was the last Australian to win the oldest major at Royal St Georges in 1993 and it is 26 years since fellow Aussie Ian Baker-Finch triumphed at Royal Birkdale.
"In the past, coming over 10 days before and playing the Open venues worked really well for me," said Scott.
"So, with a slight schedule change and less tournament play leading up, I think I need, also the tournament play.
"Hopefully that will be enough links golf to be ready.

"I'll be trying to play a few shots that I don't normally play this week here at Dundonald.
"Hopefully this does the trick at Dundonald this week and sets me up for a really great week next week, as well."
Scott will contest the opening two rounds of the Scottish Open in the company of defending champion, Alex Noren of Sweden and Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.

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