Eyes wide shut: Scott’s surprising swing theory - PGA of Australia

Eyes wide shut: Scott’s surprising swing theory

Adam Scott has hit 702 golf shots in competition on the PGA TOUR in 2020 and hasn’t looked at a single one of them.

OK, he may have snuck a peek at his daring up-and-down at the 15th at Riviera that helped to propel him to a two-shot win at the Genesis Invitational but when it comes to dissecting one of the most admired swings in world golf, Scott prefers the ‘less is more’ approach.

Back at TPC Sawgrass for the 19th consecutive year, the 2004 champion of THE PLAYERS Championship is confident of where his swing – and hence his game – is situated.

A slow start last week at Bay Hill led to a missed cut last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but the 39-year-old has kept up his practice of trusting coach Brad Malone that his body is in the position it needs to be to produce displays of premium ball-striking.

“I got in the habit of watching my swing on video, which isn’t good because even though the swing can be good you can nitpick every swing,” Scott said ahead of the opening round of THE PLAYERS.

“The perfect swing pretty much doesn’t exist. And even when I’m swinging good I could see something and try and then go and work on it.

“Basically, I haven’t seen my swing this year at all and so a lot of it is based off feel.

“I trust my coach that he’s telling me the swing is looking in a good spot and then I just find my own feels to play golf.

“That keeps the freedom and kind of the natural talent I have for playing as open as possible to come out on the course. That’s kind of my process.

“There are times to reference off TrackMan and all the other information but at this point I don’t think there’s many secrets I’m going to find from it.

“I know my game fairly well and I’m fairly honest with myself about how the ball flight is.”

As he nears his 40th birthday, Scott is now among the more experienced players on tour trying to keep up with confident kids such as Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa.

Teeing it up in rounds one and two of THE PLAYERS alongside Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele, Scott senses a time to strike rather than take a step back.

“It’s an interesting time for me to compete,” said Scott, whose Genesis Invitational win came in his first start since his Australian PGA Championship triumph in December.

“I feel like I have a great opportunity at the moment to achieve some of the things that I have set out to do.

“Coming off the back of a year (in 2018) not playing as well as I hoped, when these opportunities present themselves you want to take advantage of them.

“I’m excited for that. I’m not really trying to prove that I can beat any of the young guys, but I think some of the old guys still have it out here.”

With the first round now complete, Scott recovered from two front-nine bogeys with an impressive five birdies and a lone bogey on the back-nine to enter the clubhouse 2-under and tied for 37th. Marc Leishman leads the Australian contingent at 5-under ahead of round two.

With no finish worse than a tie for 12th in his past four visits to the Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Scott remains as one of the best chances of the six Aussies in the field as Jason Day continues to battle a back injury.

Steve Elkington (1991, 1997) is the only Australian to win twice at TPC Sawgrass and Scott sees no reason why he can’t emulate the feat.

“I had a bit of a bad front nine at Arnold Palmer, which is disappointing, however, the silver lining may be that I didn’t have to deal with that golf course over the weekend,” Scott said.

“That looked quite brutal and my mind is in a good place because of that.

“I feel very comfortable with where my game’s at.

“The lesson learned out of last week was I need to just make sure I’m prepared teeing off and not have that kind of slow start to take away from the level where my game is and put myself back in with a chance to win a big tournament this week.”

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