04 Apr 2024 | Professional golf |

Aussies on tour: Scott trusts 'gut' in change to Masters prep

by Tony Webeck

Adam Scott Valero Texas Open
Adam Scott will play the Texas Open for the first time since 2018 to finalise his preparation for The Masters. Credit: David Cannon/Getty Images

Australian Adam Scott has added this week’s Valero Texas Open and skipped his customary pre-tournament visit to Augusta National to recapture the confidence needed to win The Masters for a second time.

The 2013 Masters champion is returning to TPC San Antonio for the first time since 2018 and for just the fourth time in his career, calling on his memories from his triumph in 2010 to finalise his preparation for next week’s tilt at Augusta National.

Top 10 at the WM Open in Phoenix, Scott missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and was tied for 45th at THE PLAYERS in his two most recent starts.

That is in part the reason for being in Houston this week in favour of a reconnaissance mission to a course he now knows as well as anyone.

“Most years I do,” Scott said of a visit to Augusta National prior to tournament week.

“I don’t have tons of time just to float up there and I thought it wasn’t the big priority for me leading into this Masters.

“I think I can go in there at this point feeling pretty comfortable and should be confident that I know the golf course well enough on a couple practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Things are always changing not only with the PGA TOUR schedule, but with where my game is at, with what’s going on around me and trying to balance everything and make the best decisions.

“I equally like playing in Houston, I’ve won in Houston as well and I’ve won here, but you just can’t play every week.

“You’ve got to just make kind of gut decisions on really what you need. I’m happy that this time it’s worked out that I’m back here at Valero.”

Admitting that The Masters is front of mind, Scott is conscious that winning form is good form.

Without a win since his victory at the Genesis Invitational in 2020, the 43-year-old believes his game is in a place that a second Texas Open triumph is well within reach exactly 100 years since Joe Kirkwood Snr became the first Australian to win the event.

“As much as we all think about next week, I’m here, I want a good result,” said Scott, who was tied for 23rd in his title defence in 2011.

“I’d like to win a trophy, that’s still what I’m trying to do out here. It’s been a long time since I

have lifted a trophy.

“I feel like my game is in that place where it could turn any week. It’s all there, I need to somehow put myself in that position and make a putt at the right time and get back in that spot.”

On the LPGA Tour, the T-Mobile Match Play is underway at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.

In a new format this year, the top 65 and ties after 36 holes of stroke play will advance to a third strokeplay round, after which the top eight will contest the match play section on the weekend.

Aussie No.1 Minjee Lee has started well to be tied for sixth late in her opening round, Gabi Ruffels (72) and Stephanie Kyriacou (73) tied for 18th and tied for 33rd respectively.

Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

Round 1 tee times AEDT

PGA TOUR Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio (Oaks Cse), San Antonio, Texas 12:04am* Brian Harman, Matt Fitzpatrick, Adam Scott 12:48am David Lipsky, Dylan Wu, Ryan Fox (NZ) 1:32am Harrison Endycott, Kevin Dougherty, Alex Welch 4:46am* Martin Laird, Aaron Baddeley, Zac Blair

Defending champion: Corey Conners Past Aussie winners: Joe Kirkwood Snr (1924), Bruce Crampton (1964), Adam Scott (2010), Steven Bowditch (2014) Prize money: $US9.2m TV times: Live 11:30pm-7am Thursday; Live 11:15pm-7am Friday; Live 1am-8am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

LPGA Tour T-Mobile Match Play Shadow Creek, Las Vegas, Nevada Round 1 scores 1 Sei Young Kim 66 T5 Minjee Lee 2-under thru 14 T9 Lydia Ko 71 T18 Gabriela Ruffels 72 T33 Stephanie Kyriacou 73 T90 Sarah Kemp 80

Defending champion: Pajaree Anannarukarn Past Aussie winners: Nil Prize money: $US2m| TV times: Live 9am-12pm Friday; Live 8:30am-11:30am Saturday on Fox Sports 505; Live 8am-11am Sunday on Fox Sports 503; Live 8am-11am Monday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo.

LIV Golf LIV Golf Miami Trump National Doral, Miami, Florida Australasians in the field: Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman, Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones, Danny Lee (NZ)

Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau Past Aussie winners: Nil Prize money: $US20m TV times: Live from 4:15am Saturday, Sunday, Monday on 7Plus.

Korn Ferry Tour Club Car Championship The Landings Golf & Athletic Club (Deer Creek), Savannah, Georgia 10:10pm* Brett Drewitt, Max McGreevy, Tain Lee 10:20pm Austin Smotherman, Dimi Papadatos, Jeff Overton 3:46am Curtis Luck, Tommy Gainey, Henrik Norlander 3:46am* Rhein Gibson, Sean O’Hair, Chris Petefish

Defending champion: David Skinns Past Aussie winners: Nil Prize money: $US1m

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