Scott on a mission at Australian Open, short putter and all

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 24, 2015 11:39 PM

By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Adam Scott's target for the Australian Open could not be more straightforward -- a victory preferably following a final-round duel with world number one Jordan Spieth.

Spieth said on Tuesday that the 2013 U.S. Masters champion would be the man to beat at The Australian Golf Club and Scott could only agree.

"I'm very fired up to win the Australian Open this week," the 35-year-old Australian told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's got a big feel about it to me. I've been building it up in my own mind. The whole golfing (world) will be watching what happens down here this week.

"If you get a chance to play against the best, and win, that's a big deal, even more special to win your national championship. Hopefully I'm coming into the right kind of form at the right time."

Scott, a former world number one, has still not tasted victory this year after a miserable third round blew his chance of winning last week's Australian Masters.

Although he lost out on the final hole in the fourth round duel with Rory McIlroy at the Australian Open two years ago, Scott said nothing would please him more than being in the final group with Spieth for the fourth round.

"I feel like I only really had a couple of weeks where I was playing that really top golf this year ... and I feel starved of it and I miss it," the world number 12 said."I'd love nothing more than being there on Sunday with Jordan, going head-to-head and seeing what I can do. He's the benchmark for golf at the moment."

Scott said equipment changes and tweaks to his game had played a part in his disappointing season but his putting would have to take the large part of the blame.

Going to the short putter after years of success with the broomstick, which will be outlawed from next season, was probably now a positive, however, rather than the hindrance many anticipated it would be for him.

"The forced change of the putter was actually good timing, it's refreshing to have something fresh to focus on," he said.

"My confidence with the putter is high and I feel I can go out and contend at the moment even when I'm not hitting it the best.

"I putted well with the long one for a few years, now I think I've got a good chance to putt better than I ever have with the short putter."

Another bonus for Scott is having his on-off caddy Steve Williams on his bag for the weekend.

"This is our major this week and we'll treat it accordingly, we're on a mission."

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)