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30 Nov 2022 | Australian Open |

Scott’s glowing endorsement of career-first

by Dane Heverin

Adam Scott tees off during Wednesday's ISPS HANDA Australian Open Pro-Am at Victoria Golf Club as playing partner and former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw watches on.
Adam Scott tees off during Wednesday's ISPS HANDA Australian Open Pro-Am at Victoria Golf Club as playing partner and former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw watches on.

He’s played in every corner of the world but Adam Scott will experience something new this week as he plays alongside women and All Abilities golfers for the first time in his illustrious career.

The 42-year-old was full of praise for the world-first ISPS HANDA Australian Open format - that will include the men’s, women’s and All Abilities competing on the same course, at the same time - in his Wednesday press conference alongside fellow past champions Dame Laura Davies and Johan Kammerstad.

“It’s my first time to play in a mixed field like this,” Scott said. “I think it’s something Laura’s used to. I remember growing up watching her play a lot down here in Australia, winning events, playing with the guys and she’s championed this kind of thing for a long time.

“I hope she feels that it’s come a long way and Australia is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible this week. I hope the rest of the world pays attention.

“I’m here to embrace it and hopefully it is a win/win. So far it’s been really enjoyable. I got to play nine holes with Minjee (Lee) yesterday at (Kingston) Heath and Min Woo, her brother. So, fun things like that aren’t normally happening.

“I think certainly at this time in the golfing world eyes have been opened to different formats. Hopefully we’ve all got our eyes open this week to see the best in this one.”

The 2013 Masters champion placed particular emphasis on the importance of Australia’s best male and female players being seen together after his Tuesday practice round with the Lee siblings and rookie professional Hayden Hopewell.

Fans will have the chance to witness a similar set up at Kingston Heath on Thursday morning when Scott tees it up alongside Presidents Cup teammate Cam Davis and Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Harrison Crowe, while another major champion in Hannah Green plays in the group in front.

“I think it’s really powerful, the mixing of everybody here this week,” Scott said.

“But then certainly mixing the top Aussies together - and I know Cam is the top Aussie - but the prominent players, I think that’s a really powerful thing for the game down here. The hardest thing is timing of things. Like you said, we don’t cross paths a lot, but if these events can have a big impact, maybe we can find time to do it a little more frequently.”

Scott, who has reunited with his Masters winning caddie Steve Williams for Australia’s two marquee events, was delighted by the reception of the crowds at Royal Queensland last week for the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship and he expects a strong showing from Melbourne golf fans, and himself, this week too.

“So far, (coming home) has been great,” Scott said. “I think playing up in Brisbane last week and with Cam returning as the Open champion was more than I expected and I’m so pleased it was a well attended and supported event. 

“For everyone’s sake, but certainly for Cam, deserving a reception like that, coming home as the 150th champ. I enjoyed that very much.  The nerves definitely kicked in on the first tee Thursday morning in front of a lot of familiar faces, but it would be, I would say satisfying to come away with a trophy this week.

“I’ve had a great record generally at the Open, I just haven’t gotten across the line for a second time.  It’s great to be back playing for our national championship.  I generally feel good about where my game is.  It wasn’t amazing last week, but it might have been the week I needed to warm up to have a crack at this one.”

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