By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Midway through a trial of caddies, Adam Scott cannot help but feel the absence of former bag-man Steve Williams, who would have been an asset in his bid to win a third successive Australian Masters title, the world number two said.
Scott will work with seasoned caddie David Clark at Melbourne's Metropolitan Golf Club this week as he seeks to become the tournament's first 'three-peat' winner while warming up for his showdown with world number one Rory McIlroy at the Australian Open in Sydney next week.
Clark carried Scott's bag at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament earlier this month in Shanghai, where the Australian finished joint 12th behind American winner Bubba Watson.
A former caddie to triple major winner Vijay Singh, Clark will be under heavy scrutiny in Melbourne, where fans have been treated to Scott in full flight with New Zealander Williams in the past two tournaments.
"Yeah, he's caddying for me this week. He did China, as well," Scott told reporters of Clark at Metropolitan on Wednesday.
"So it was nice of him to kind of come down and be able to stay this long. I've known David a long time.
"He's caddied for some great players. I have a chance to use a few different guys at the moment.
"So, it's kind of a sensitive area, because obviously he would like to go on.
"But I'm going to use a couple different guys after this week and kind of see where things are at and who is going to fit in best next year in a more permanent position."
Williams had a good strike-rate on Melbourne's famed 'sandbelt' courses, having also carried Tiger Woods' bag at the 2009 Australian Masters to victory at Kingston Heath down the road.
"I got to learn so much from him and having him down here for a few years on the sandbelt, and obviously being able to pick his brain and also see how he went about it, I've learned how to manage myself around these courses," added Scott.
"That's shown in the results the last couple years with us winning at Kingston Heath and Royal Melbourne. That's pretty special for an Aussie golfer. It would be nice to put this one on that list, too."
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)