Date: March 12, 2014

Grant Report – Scott set for Masters despite missing No.1 spot

He might have missed his chance to become world No.1 at the weekend but Adam Scott feels he is well-prepared with the defence of his Masters title looming.

Scott had a chance to overtake Tiger Woods for the top spot by winning the WGC Cadillac Championship in Florida but struggled from the first day and was never in contention.

The tournament was won by American Patrick Reed who finished three under the card and one ahead of compatriot Bubba Watson and Welshman Jamie Donaldson.

Scott Hend was the leading Australian with a share of 16th place at four over par, while Adam Scott came home in a tie for 25th.

However Scott was undeterred about his form going into the first major of the year next month.

"It is all about the big picture in mind now," Scott told AAP after the third round. "Obviously I’m not thinking about trying to go out and win the golf tournament tomorrow, I’m just trying to get a good score on the board and have everything falling into a good place so I can feel like I’ve taken something out of the week and then know what I need to work on moving forward."

The Queenslander will play one more tournament, the Arnold Palmer Invitational in two weeks time, before returning to Augusta National.

"I think I am in a good spot," Scott said. "The stuff I worked on in the six weeks I had off I am seeing some good results from that.

"I think I am well on the road. I’d love to be a bit more competitive here but I think with the windy conditions yesterday and a new course it was always going to be a bit of see what you get.

"I feel really comfortable where everything is at and I know it will be in a good spot for Augusta."

Scott has been extremely careful about not getting carried away with all the attention after his breakthrough win last year, deciding to shelve the multiple offers and stick to a plan which would see him the best prepared he can be to challenge for back-to-back Masters crowns.

"Well, I’ve had a plan; I try and plan most things," Scott said before the Cadillac event.

"You can’t plan everything, but you’ve got to try and have a plan, because I felt like I was close to this breakthrough and I wanted to know what was going to happen afterwards.

"I wanted it to be the start of what I want to accomplish in my career and that kind of took precedence over any extracurricular activities like events, sponsorships, endorsements and all these kind of things.

"I didn’t want to break the routine I was in, because I was enjoying playing good golf a lot more than I enjoyed picking up other sponsors, I would think."

Scott could have been seduced by lucrative offers but clearly has a strategy in place to try to be a force in every grand slam event from now on.

"I wanted that to be the start of my part in golf history and I didn’t think I needed any extra distractions," he said.

"I’ve already committed the amount of time I’ve prepared to commit to sponsors and obligations."

While he finished down the leader board in Florida, Scott was pleased to be playing a course which he said would help him next month.

"I think it’s actually quite a nice lead-up to the Masters.  Not that the greens are exactly the same, but they are more similar than they were in the past," he said.

"There’s a little more undulation and there are some severe breaking putts out there. And I think certainly as we see this course mature and grow in over the next few years, this is going to be a really nice lead-up event to the Masters, and being able to hit some putts that are not too dissimilar to what we face at Augusta.

"So I think a lot of guys will be excited to be playing this event this week and in the future and kind of sharpening up that short game with the Masters in the back of our mind."

By: Robert Grant