15 Feb 2024 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Scott’s unfamiliar step in Masters prep

by Tony Webeck

Adam Scott 2023 Genesis Invitational
Adam Scott has two wins and more than $US15 million from 15 starts at Riviera Country Club. Photo: Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

It took more than a text to tournament host Tiger Woods but Adam Scott will continue his preparation for a second green jacket at this week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

A two-time winner at the venue and the site of his most recent PGA TOUR title in 2020, Scott required a sponsor’s exemption to be able to tee it up in the third Signature event of the season.

With one eye on The Masters in two months’ time, Scott had no qualms in reaching out through the proper channels for the chance to continue his love affair with Riviera.

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“I did it how I thought was right,” said Scott, who struggled to recall the last time he had to request a sponsor’s invite to play a tournament.

“I wrote a letter to the tournament directors and made sure that I was legitimately getting an invite.

“If writing to Tiger works, let me know.”

With top-10s in Dubai and Phoenix in three starts to begin 2024, Scott arrives at Riviera not only with fond memories but with positivity in how he is playing.

Eleven years on from his historic victory at Augusta National, the 43-year-old sees his date in LA as another crucial step towards arriving at The Masters with both his game and confidence levels in good shape.

“I’ve had that in the forefront of my mind since January 1 and, so far, it’s been going well,” Scott said when asked when his attention turns to Augusta.

“As soon as you get to the new year you start thinking about it.

“How much work you need to do to think you’re going to be ready to win The Masters. Where your game’s really at and trying to work a schedule of practice and play and travel.

“The Florida swing, it’s important to play well through there because that’s the last solid hit-out before The Masters.

“Having that confidence and the ability in the weeks leading up to have some calm in the mind and confidence sitting there is very helpful.

“I’m hopeful that I’m ticking the boxes along the way and be in really great shape come Augusta.”

An unofficial winner in 2005 when the tournament was reduced to 36 holes due to rain, Scott pointed to the familiar feelings of home for his success at Riviera.

“I don’t think too many people would argue that it’s a great designed golf course, but there are other things to me,” said Scott, who has career prize money of $US5,077,503 from 15 starts in this event alone.

“Obviously I’ve played nicely here, so I have good feelings about that. I have feelings like I’m in Australia when I play the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th holes.

“The eucalyptus trees kind of smell like it does in Australia, the grass is similar, the weather can be similar as well, nice weather here in L.A. I just have this certain level of comfort.

“There’s more than just purely a great golf course for me.”

Scott is one of just three Aussies who will tee it up in the Genesis Invitational but there are 19 in the field for the first Asian Tour event of the year, the IRS Prima Malaysian Open.

With three exemptions on offer to The Open Championship at Royal Troon in July, the likes of Brendan Jones, Jed Morgan and Jordan Zunic will be eager to carry their recent form on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia into Malaysia.

Former NSW amateur teammates Grace Kim and Steph Kyriacou are joined by Gabi Ruffels and Kirsten Rudgeley at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International on the Ladies European Tour and David Bransdon and Steve Allan make their PGA TOUR Champions debuts at the Chubb Classic in Florida.

Photo: Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Round 1 tee times AEDT

PGA TOUR The Genesis Invitational The Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California 3:44am Cam Davis, Adam Hadwin, Cameron Young 5:25am Jason Day, Tony Finau, Brendon Todd 7:06am Adam Scott, Alex Smalley, Taylor Montgomery

Prize money: $US20 million Defending champion: Jon Rahm Past Aussie winners: Robert Allenby (2001), Adam Scott (2005, 2020), Aaron Baddeley (2011) TV times: Live 3am-12pm Friday, Saturday; Live 5am-11am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

Asian Tour IRS Prima Malaysian Open The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Malaysia 10:50am* Daeng Rahman, Sam Brazel, Siddikur Rahman 11:10am Michael Maguire, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai, Andrew Dodt 11:20am Bjorn Hellgren, Veer Ahlawat, Scott Hend 11:30am* Brendan Jones, David Puig, Phachara Khongwatmai 11:40am* Jazz Janewattananond, Ben Campbell (NZ), Wade Ormsby 11:50am* Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Jed Morgan, Gavin Green 12pm Chang Wei-lun, Mingyu Cho, Marcus Fraser 12:30pm Jose Toledo, Anson Yeo Boon Xiang (a), Maverick Antcliff 12:40pm Varun Chopra, Sukree Othman, Jordan Zunic 12:40pm* Lachlan Barker, Nateeshvar Anatha Ganesh (a), Ye Wocheng 3:40pm Deyen Lawson, Danny Chia, Charng-Tai Sudsom 3:50pm Douglas Klein, Matt Killen, Justin Quiban 4:10pm* Zach Murray, Shahriffuddin Ariffin, Chapchai Nirat 4:20pm Trevor Simsby, Miguel Tabuena, Travis Smyth 4:20pm* Kevin Yuan, Suradit Yongcharoenchai, Kyongjun Moon 4:40pm* Rattanon Wannasrichan, Todd Sinnott, Sanghyun Park 5pm Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Nicholas Fung, Jack Thompson 5pm* Prom Meesawat, Carlos Pigem, Aaron Wilkin 5:10pm* Justin Warren, Edven Ying, William Harrold

Prize money: $US1 million Defending champion: Trevor Simsby (2020) Past Aussie winners: Frank Phillips (1962), Bill Dunk (1963), Graham Marsh (1974, 1975), Stewart Ginn (1977, 1986), Brian Jones (1978), Terry Gale (1983, 1985, 1987) TV times: Live 2pm-6pm Sunday on Fox Sports 507 and Kayo.

Ladies European Tour Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF Riyadh Golf Club, Saudi Arabia 3:55pm* Grace Kim, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Yu Liu 8:15pm Stephanie Kyriacou, Klara Davidson Spilkova, Alessandra Fanali 8:15pm* Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, Gabriela Ruffels, Bailey Tardy 8:35pm* Kelsey Macdonald, Chloe Williams, Kirsten Rudgeley

Prize money: $US5 million Defending champion: Lydia Ko Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 9pm-1am Thursday, Friday; Live 9:30pm-1:30am Saturday; Live 8:30pm-12:30am Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

Champions Tour Chubb Classic Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida Australasians in the field: Steven Alker, Steve Allan, Stuart Appleby, David Bransdon, Richard Green, Mark Hensby, Rod Pampling, John Senden Prize money: $US1.8 million

Defending champion: Bernhard Langer Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 4am-7am Saturday; Live 7am-9:30am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo.

Challenge Tour Dimension Data Pro-Am Fancourt Golf Estate, George, South Africa Aussies in the field: Hayden Hopewell, Connor McKinney

Prize money: R7 million Defending champion: Oliver Bekker Past Aussie winners: Nil

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