By Andrew Both
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Adam Scott may be sporting a new haircut at Augusta National this week but it will be a familiar old putter in his bag when he tees off at the Masters on Thursday.
After an ill-fated three-week stint with a regular putter in March, the 2013 Masters champion felt a return to the long stick would give him the best shot at victory on what are likely to be typically fast greens at the year's first major.
"It's what I've been doing for four years, so to go back was a piece of cake," Scott told reporters on Tuesday.
"Two days practice with it and I felt like I was at the levels (of) last year, which are very high. I'm coming to a major. I'm not here to throw balls up in the air and see where they fall.
"I want to make sure I give myself the best chance to perform at the highest level I need to win. That will be with the longer putter."
Scott, 34, returns with little fanfare, a far cry from last year when he was defending champion and one of the favorites.
This time it is more difficult to assess his form, because the Australian has played only three times this year, and poor form on the greens kept him from contending.
But the experience of 48 competitive rounds at the Masters, the comfort factor that comes from being a former champion, and possessing one of the game's best swings, suggests he should not be overlooked.
"There are big stories this week and I certainly am not missing being one of them at the moment, but hopefully that will change Sunday," he said with a grin on his face.
"I really only have two experiences of being in contention (2011 and 2013). The first time was tough. The second time was much more enjoyable.
"I knew what I was getting myself into, so it was slightly easier, although it’s not easy teeing it up on the first (tee) at this tournament in any round."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)