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Scott Bemoans 'Sloppy' Finish
Adam Scott seemingly had the 141st Open Championship in hand. The 32-year-old Aussie enjoyed a four-stroke lead with four holes to go on Sunday at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
But it wasn't to be for Scott, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, whose previous biggest wins in his 12-year career came in the 2004 Players Championship and the 2006 Tour Championship.
In a nightmare scenario, Scott bogeyed his final four holes while his closest pursuer, Ernie Els - playing in a couple of groups ahead, birdied the par-4 18th to overcome the deficit, forge a one-stroke win and secure his second Claret Jug.
As might be expected for the classy Scott, he "manned-up" after quelling his disappointment and talked about the disastrous end of his final round. Here's what he told the gathered reporters in the media center.
MODERATOR: Adam, thanks very much for coming in to talk to us. I guess it's been a tough day for you.
ADAM SCOTT: Well, it was a very sloppy finish by me, just talking about the golf. And disappointing to finish that way. I played so well all week. I wasn't even really out of position, and I managed to get myself in some trouble and couldn't make the putts to get out of it the last four holes. But that's what was to be expected coming in here. It's a championship golf course, it's very difficult. And you've got to play some good shots to win those golf tournaments, and I wasn't able to do that the last few holes. Sure, I am very disappointed. But I felt like I played well this week, and it was probably a great chance.
Q. Can you describe the emotions going through - the entire round, especially in the last three holes, and after the short putt got away, how do you regroup after that from inside? Were you able to let it go?
ADAM SCOTT: I was surprisingly calm the whole round. A little nervous on the first tee but less so than yesterday. And I was surprisingly calm out there. I probably spent all my nerves over the 24 hours leading up to playing today. It's funny, I definitely worked myself up a little bit at times, but once I was out there I felt completely in control. And even the last few holes I didn't really feel like it was a case of nerves or anything like that. It came down to hitting - not making a couple of putts on the last four holes. If I make either on 15 or 16, it's a very different position and a lot more comfortable. And I put myself in a position where I had to hit a great tee shot off the last and I didn't hit a great one. But I was quite calm.
Q. How closely were you watching the scoreboards as you were going around, and what conversations were you and Stevie having through those closing holes?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I knew - I started paying attention around the turn there, 7, 8, 9, 10, and I was obviously in pretty good position but a long way to go. And I think I played kind of accordingly to that. I hit a lot of good shots, hit a lot of greens. I left a lot of putts short right in the middle today but felt I didn't need to rush anything at the hole. I was just trying not to take any risks and keep hitting good shots, make pars, but that didn't quite work at the end because poor shot into it's a pretty hard hole, 15, but a poor putt there, and then I let one slip at 16. That's a disappointing one, I think. But looking back on it, it all comes down to the shot into 17 for me that I'm most disappointed with. At that point I'm still well in control of the tournament, and I hit a nice shot somewhere to the right of the hole and I can go to the last with the lead still. So that was pretty disappointing for me really. Conversations, it was the same as every other day. We got to the 16th tee, and we'd said all week, it's six good swings from here to finish out a round. And that's what I was trying to do. And unfortunately didn't quite do that this afternoon.
Q. It's quite narrow there down 18. There are a lot of people packed in. And when Ernie holed that putt there was an enormous roar. I just wondered you were on 17 or 16 at the time. I just wonder whether you heard it and if it had any affect on you at all?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I heard it. I didn't even have to look at the leaderboard to realize the situation. No, it didn't have any - I hit a really nice tee shot off 17 right after missing a short one there on 16, and I just turned it over into the 17th. It wasn't a good shot. Like I said, that's the one that I look at and am most disappointed about at the moment. But I was saying before, I felt surprisingly calm and I felt like I had everything under control. When I was over the ball, I felt like I was going to hit a good shot, and that was the way I played all week. So I was pleased with that. But I didn't make a good swing on that one.
Q. It's clear that Ernie has a great respect and affection for you. What did he say to you after the round when you guys sort of had that moment together?
ADAM SCOTT: You know, he said he felt for me and not to beat myself up. He said he beat himself up a little bit when he'd lost or had a chance - not lost them, but had a chance to win. And he felt I'm a great player and I can go on to win majors, which is nice. We have a close friendship. We've had some good battles in the past, and it's nice to hear that from him. I respect Ernie a lot, and he's a player who is a worthy champion here for sure again.
Q. What clubs did you hit off of 18th tee in the previous three rounds, and did you think about going with less club today?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I thought about going with less club, but it was hard left to right, and I felt like if I just hit a 3 wood it would drift. But I just hit a real bullet and it held on its line. I'd hit 3 wood and some irons the other days, 2 irons. But I just held it too much on its line. Unfortunately that wasn't the shot I needed right there.
Q. My commiserations. Unfortunately for you there was so much drama on those closing holes, on that 18th the camera, as you would expect, was really on your face. I just wonder if you might be able to give us some words what went through your mind just after that putt didn't make it. What you were thinking straight afterwards?
ADAM SCOTT: Well, I was obviously pretty disappointed, to say the least. That putt didn't really do - it was never really on the line I was intending, not that I - I didn't feel like I hit a bad putt, but it just never really looked like it was going in, rolling up there. It was kind of always trying to hang on the left side. I know I've let a really great chance slip through my fingers today. But somehow I'll look back and take the positives from it. I don't think I've ever played this well in a major championship, so that's a good thing for me moving forward. All the stuff I'm doing is going in the right direction. Today is one of those days, and that's why they call it golf.
Q. You've been putting beautifully with that long putter. Is it any more difficult to use in windy conditions like today?
ADAM SCOTT: No, it's not at all. I think there's no validity to that kind of argument. I feel it's the same to me. It's hard putting in windy conditions.
Q. A follow up to what Ernie told you, how long will it take you to be able to let it go? Is it an immediate thing, or are you able to just move on? And as well, do you sort of now feel you know exactly how Greg Norman felt a few times, too, knowing the kind of stuff that he had to go through?
ADAM SCOTT: Sure. Well, look, it may not have sunk in yet, so I don't know. Hopefully I can let it go really quick and get on with what I plan to do next week and get ready for my next tournament. We'll see. I don't know, I've never really been in this position, so I'll have to wait and see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow. I guess so, yeah. I mean, look, Greg was my hero when I was a kid, and I thought he was a great role model, how he handled himself in victory and defeat. He set a good example for us. It's tough; you don't want to sit here and have to - I can't justify anything that I've done out there. I didn't finish the tournament well today. But next time I'm sure there will be a next time, and I can do a better job of it.
Q. TV said you had 176 into 17; was that correct? And what club did you hit? Did you know at impact that you had overdrawn the ball?
ADAM SCOTT: I think that's about right, 178 or 176. I hit a 6 iron and, yeah, pretty much as I looked up and saw the line it was on, I knew it was riding the wind too early to hold its line. I knew it was in a bit of trouble, obviously, just depended on the bounce where it would finish, I guess.
Q. When Greg lost to Nick Faldo all those years ago (inaudible)? Will there be any tears for you tonight?
ADAM SCOTT: I don't think so. Like I said, maybe it hasn't sunk in yet. But maybe there will be a bit more disappointment when I get home and kind of wind down. I haven't even wound down. I feel like I've just walked off the course and it's all a lot to digest, and I feel fine at the moment. But I'm a positive guy; I'm optimistic and I want to take all the good stuff that I did this week and use that for the next time I'm out on the course.
Q. Can I ask you about your local connections. Were your parents from Freckleton originally, and did your grandmother have a house overlooking the course (laughter)?
ADAM SCOTT: No, my parents are from Australia. And my grandmother was from Wales, actually. It's my dad's cousins that are from Freckleton. And I believe his aunt lived behind the ninth green once (laughter). That's the best I've got for you.
MODERATOR: Thanks very much. And congratulations.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.