Date: May 04, 2017
Author: Bernie McGuire, North Carolina

Scott on rare scouting mission

There aren’t many times Adam Scott has to scout a new venue these days, but this week’s Wells Fargo Championship is different.

With regular tournament host club Quail Hollow in suburban Charlotte out of action because it’s hosting August’s PGA Championship, another North Carolina course Eagle Point, near the Atlantic coast in Wilmington, has taken the mantle temporarily.

So despite playing his ninth Wells Fargo since his debut in 2005, Scott, like most in the field, is busy trying to plot a new patch of earth.

And with coastal breezes forecast, the Queenslander, in his return to competition since finishing ninth at the Masters, says it’s a tough challenge.

“The winds play a big factor. I mean, the greens are actually bigger than they appear from where you are hitting the shots, it is just that none of us are too familiar with the golf course so you do not know how much room you have to move,” he said.

“I think the biggest thing for me is visualising what the greens actually look like. When I am back in the fairway, a lot of the greens go up to the middle and drop off to the back, but there is a bit of room to move and over the back of some greens is actually not too bad, even if the pin’s at the back, because you are chipping back up the hill.

“There are a lot of slopes going on and it is really around the greens that is going to make it tough. Then if the wind does get up, you can hit your shot just slightly off and the wind pushes it five yards, it can catch a slope and there is a lot of stuff moving away from where the pin might be.

“If you get on the wrong side of a few of the tiers, there is not much you are going to be able to do but chip it to 30 feet.

“So you are going to have to be really sharp with all aspects of your game this week from coming in with the second shots to pitching, because you are going to hit some good shots that are going to fade off the green, you’re going to have to chip well – they are going to be tough.

“So this week is going to be a real major examination out here.”

Scott was asked about his season with his Augusta showing his best finish in the six events he has contested on the US PGA Tour.

“I have had a very quiet season. I played well at the Masters, which was obviously important,” he said.

“Unfortunately Sunday was not exactly what I wanted (shooting a 73). I was just a little out of sorts and could not get it going and did not challenge for the jacket.

“But other than that, there were lots of positives for me to take out of the Masters. I was finally hitting the ball well tee to green and just trying to put it all together and that worked out there nicely. So I feel like the game is coming into good shape.

“The next two weeks are very important. This is more than a tune-up for The Players Championship; the way the greens are (and) the firmness of them, (you’ll need) major level concentration out there or you are going to run up some numbers pretty quickly around these greens.

“So it will be a good week to test exactly where your game is at here going into a very big tournament next week.”