Date: January 23, 2014

Grant Report – Scott rewards himself with longest ever break

After the most productive and hectic year of his career, Adam Scott will finally reward himself with the longest break from competitive golf he has ever allowed himself.

The Queenslander played the first two US PGA Tour events of this year in Hawaii, finishing up with the Sony Open near the famed Waikiki Beach.

Then he headed from the grass to the sand to enjoy some down time with 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater.

Scott’s world No.2 ranking may fall to Henrik Stenson, who continues to play on, but the Australian feels this time away will be of better use than a possible burnout.

He is likely to spend time home in Queensland or at his overseas base in the Bahamas and will not be back on tour until the Honda Classic.

Scott, though, will not go back on tour cold…he will spend the last part of his break practising and preparing, especially with the defence of his Masters crown on the looming horizon.

"There’s heaps of work to do, but there’s got to be a break somewhere," Scott told AP.

"I could keep playing. I feel like I’m playing well. But you can’t continue to perform at the level you want if you play all the time.

"I’m forcing myself to take a break, and I can see it’s coming. My brain didn’t completely switch on these two weeks."

Scott’s game after his sizzling run through the Australian season was not up to that standard, but in good enough shape for him to have the confidence to put away the clubs for a while.

He never was in a realistic position to contend for victory at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua or at the Sony Open but still managed two top 10 finishes.

Scott’s most important season came after a meltdown in the 2012 British Open where he was cruising to victory but collapsed to finish with four staight bogeys.

His immediate bounce back to win at Augusta, he credited in large part to his British Open experience. He brushed aside the failure, concentrating on the positive aspects, that he was in contention and on the brink of a major breakthrough.

And when that came last April it turned into the most significant success of all. While his countrymen in the past had won multiple grand slam events, Scott gave his nation its first ever green jacket.

He also won a FedEx Cup playoff event before returning to Australia to a hero’s welcome and proceeded to scoop up the Australian PGA presented by Coca-Cola, the Talisker Australian Masters before he and Jason Day collected the ISPS Handa World Cup and Scott concluded his home swing by finishing runner-up to Rory McIlroy in the Emirates Australian Open.

"It might be some of the best golf I’ve ever played over the 12 months," Scott said in a massive understatement.

"To walk away and trust it will be there when I come back . . . I think I’ve done enough work over the last year or two to leave it for a few weeks."

Scott said he would switch back on about three or four weeks before the Honda Classic.

By: Robert Grant