Open Championship 2013 Blog

Adam Scott is back at the Open, back at the tournament that left him desolate a year ago. While the Australian golfer celebrates his 33rd birthday today, celebration was the last thing on his mind as he left Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s after the 2012 Open, when an agonising string of four closing bogeys saw him lose to Ernie Els by one.

But for Scott, the pain was transformed into elation when he became the first Australian golfer to win the Masters at Augusta in April. He has brought his Masters green jacket to East Lothian with him too.

“I still don’t go more than two or three days without wearing it,” admits Scott, talking to Golf Monthly after a nine-hole practice round on Monday. “It comes with me most places. I will definitely have the jacket out this week because my mum is coming to the Open and she has not seen it yet.”

Scott has so far prepared for the 2013 Open in much the same way as he did last year, by arriving over a week before the tournament itself, and to get his bearings in the company of his coach and brother-in-law, Brad Malone.

“You need to feel like the course is your home club,” says Scott. “I got here on Tuesday and I have learnt the course. Now it is just a matter of executing the shots. That’s the hard part, but I know the ball is going to run for about 30 yards.

“The fourth hole is a good example. It is playing 220 yards to the middle of the green, but I am playing an eight iron 15 yards short, and then it is rolling 35 yards into the middle of the green. It is hard to get your head around that if you have played just a couple practice rounds, but I have played Muirfield seven times over the past week now.”

Scott’s final preparations might include picking the brains of his friend Els too, who is not only the defending Open champion but also the winner the last time the Open was played at Muirfield 11 years ago. The two golfers played a practice round together at Muirfield in the build-up to the 2002 Open.

“When I played with Ernie in 2002, he flat-out told me he was playing horrible,” recalls Scott. “Ernie said he didn’t know what he was doing and that he was at his wit’s end, and he played horribly in our practice round. I thought he had no chance. Sure enough, he ended up winning.

“I think I might pick Ernie’s brain because, well, I think he owes me one.”
Robin Barwick travelled to Muirfield with Mercedes-Benz, Official Patron of the Open Championship and a partner of three Major championships