World No.1 Adam Scott made the most of the perks of his job last week and now wants to take advantage of the best golf of his life.
The Australian rejected the chance to play the Scottish Open in Aberdeen, opting instead for four days in the quieter surroundings of the Royal Liverpool links as he continued his meticulous planning for the 143rd Open Championship.
Scott learned much from his close encounter with the Claret Jug at Royal Lytham in 2012 when a late collapse handed the title to Ernie Els, but he went on to win the Masters nine months later, and his career has continued upwards to the top of the world rankings.
The 33-year-old has three top-ten finishes in his last four majors (the other was joint 14th) and has recorded eight in his last 14 appearances at golf’s premier events.
If there was ever a time to kick on and become a multiple major winner it is now and Scott knows as much.
“I’m playing some of my best golf at the moment and I don’t know how long that’s going to last, so I’ve got to try to take advantage and win all the events that I’d really love to win – and this is certainly one of them,” he said. “I’ve given myself a couple of opportunities and haven’t done it. I think maybe the third time you have to do it or it might not come back around.
“I think Lytham was the proving to me that I’ve got what it takes to win. It was obviously not the finish there, but that gave me a lot of confidence, not just about playing well in majors but also (that I) had the game to win an Open Championship.
“I’m playing some of the best golf of my life so I should be taking advantage of it and stepping up this week and putting myself in with a good chance.”
Scott tried to give himself a better chance by arriving in Hoylake earlier than most of his fellow professionals and practising hard.
“I got up here on Thursday and I’ve played every day. There was no range open up here then, so I just came out and played pretty much 18 every day except Saturday,” he added. “I got to come and play the Open Championship course when it’s closed, the week before. It’s a real perk of the job, I think.
“It’s very hard to adjust (to links golf) in the short space of time we have. That’s why I find it valuable coming up the week before, because I feel I need to give myself a good week of really understanding. A lot of it is feel and you need a bit of time and you need to play to do that.
“You won’t find that on the range because you’re not really paying attention to how far the ball is going on the range.“I’ve played Royal Aberdeen before and I know it’s a great track but the way I see it, and it might be wrong, but why play that links when you can play this one?
“I feel like I can come out here and learn the golf course I’m trying to perform on.