US Open - Practice key to success for Scott

Having finally tasted major glory at this year's Masters, Adam Scott is eager to prove that his meticulous blueprint for success in golf's biggest events can again work to his advantage at this week's US Open.

Golf - Defending champion Scott gearing up for another Masters run

View photo

Adam Scott of Australia celebrates sinking a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round in the 2013 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia (Reuters)

Battle scarred but wiser after a few close calls at the Majors in recent seasons prior to his breakthrough at Augusta National, the Australian has gained a level of comfort from the way he now prepares for the elite championships.

Attention to detail and getting to know courses as well as he can by playing them as much as possible at least one week before the Major - all this and more has helped Scott become a prime contender.

"It's just about trying to soak in as much as you can," the Australian world number three told reporters while preparing for the 2013 US Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

"I find that it's easier to go (to the course) out of the tournament week ... because there are so many distractions out on the course during a practice round that I don't think you're absorbing everything the course is giving to you.

"So getting rounds in beforehand I think is key, especially for Merion."

Scott, who played a couple of practice rounds at Merion two weeks ago before returning to the venue again late last week, explained that his main objective was to know the course well enough to play it without a yardage book.

"That's the goal," said the 32-year-old, a nine-times winner on the US Tour who clinched his first major title at the Masters by beating Argentina's Angel Cabrera in a playoff.

"You'd like to tee off on Thursday (for the opening round) without a yardage book and be able to play the course.

"Then you've got a good level of understanding of the golf course. I did that at Olympic last year and I didn't play the course with a yardage book."

Scott tied for 15th at last year's US Open, which was hosted by the Olympic Club outside San Francisco.

"I just knew what to hit off every tee and all the different winds because you've hit enough shots," he said.

"And I felt Olympic was a course that you just need the front edge number to the green ... because the penalty of being over or above the hole was too severe.

"Merion is not quite as simple as that, but I'd like to feel like I don't have to look at my yardage book to know if I have to hit a three or four-iron off the tee. Almost like you're a member of the course, that's the goal."

Scott, who ended decades of Australian agony when he became the first player from his country to win the Masters in April, plans to hit "six or seven drivers" per round at Merion on a layout measuring only 6,996 yards off the back tees.

"There are short holes where you're hitting an iron and a wedge in, but the long holes are long," he said. "On 18, you're going to have to hit a driver just to get it to the fairway.

"I'm going to hit six or seven drivers. The fairways are not that narrow. They're fairly generous and the rough is thick, but you're going to have to hit drivers to win.

"If one guy is good enough to hit a lot of fairways with their driver, they're going to have a lot of wedges into greens. And that's how you're going to create your opportunity to score."

Scott will launch his bid for a second major title in high-profile company with world number one Tiger Woods and second-ranked Rory McIlroy when he tees off on Thursday.

View comments (0)