Date: July 31, 2014
Author: Martin Blake /

Scott aims still higher

Scott is No. 1 in the world, and his record in the majors over the past three years is outstanding. But the Australian is not content, he says, because he is "trying to be one of the great players'' of golf. Great players are measured by majors won, and Scott has just one, the 2012 Masters, so there is work to do, beginning at Firestone this week for the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational, and then at the PGA Championship at Valhalla next week.

"I think I've kind of tried to chisel out my legacy, to use those words, later on,'' he told the media at the Bridgestone Invitational today. "I found that fork in the road where it got to the point where I'm going to be either just a guy who didn't fulfilhis potential and a longtime pro out here,or someone that's going to be a good player.  I'm trying to be one of the great players.

"I think some years of experience maybe helped the balance of what I need in my professional life and personal life.  I think it's very different, surprisingly to me, than I thought, where things are at.  I felt earlier on that I really needed the balance and escape from golf, and I think I just didn't have it as well organised.And now I don't. I'm so inspired to play and practice all the time and feel like I'm always on the cusp of something really great happening that it's motivating for me to come out.  So it's almost flipped around.But I don't know how long that will last.  I think you've just got to be true to yourself and do what you want to do.  I think that's how I try and balance things.''

Scott is one of six Australians in the field at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, along with Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones and John Senden. He won this tournament in 2011, with Steve Williams on the bag in what turned out to be a watershed moment for him. He has had four top-10 finishes in majors since that year, including two this year — at the US Open and the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. But consistency is not necessarily what he seeks. "Being consistent is one thing, but if I have 20 fifth place finishes in Majors in my career and I only win one, I'm going to be pretty disappointed,'' he said.

A lesson from Hoylake, he says, is to start better. Scott had a poor Friday in the wind at the Open Championship, and it cost him. He started the final day too far behind Rory McIlroy and while he played well, he never contended, just as he had found himself too far back in the US Open where Martin Kaymer dominated.  "It makes for almost an impossible weekend,'' he said. "You're relying on them to do poorly rather than me playing well at that point, and you can't rely on anyone because, if they don't, you've got no chance, like Martinshowed.''

Scott has tailored his schedule so that he is not too tired for the stretch that lays ahead, with a potential six tournaments in seven weeks, depending whether he reaches the final round of the Fedex Cup playoffs on the US PGA Tour. "The first thing I think of when I think of great players is Majors won, and it's just the way golf's gone,'' he said. "I think 'rightly so'.  I think they're very difficult to win, otherwise, everyone would be winning them. I've said it a lot,   I feel like this is my time.  I'm playing the best golf of my life.  I want to take advantage of that.  I'd be disappointed if I don't win next week or early into next year.  I think I can keep this window open for a bit longer.

I want to make the most of it because golf's a funny game and it can all turn around quickly.  So I've played a lot of good golf in these Majors.  I want to take home some wins. ''

Australian hit-offs at Firestone

11.10 pm (Thursday AEST) John Senden

11.40 Matt Jones

3am (Friday AEST) Steven Bowditch, Marc Leishman

3.50 Jason Day

4.10 Adam Scott