Having mastered Firestone last year and competed in the Bridgestone on nine previous occasions, he felt he would be better served to travel to South Carolina and play the Ocean Course, a venue he hadn’t visited before.
“I’d only seen the pictures in magazines, which obviously are quite stunning,” Scott said.
“It’s two different nine holes. The front nine is a really nice, playable golf course, and then the back nine is not.”
Scott said the Ocean Course reminded him of another Pete Dye design – the Stadium Course at Sawgrass, where he won in 2004. He will need to use those memories and experiences as preparation, as Firestone’s lush, tree-lined layout will not provide the ideal preparation for Kiawah.
“It’s different grass here and stuff, so this week is really not that much like Kiawah at all,” added Scott.
“Kiawah reminds me of a lot of courses. There’s a lot of Sawgrass in there. It’s a Pete Dye golf course. He has his kind of signature stamps on his design, and I’ve seen a lot of Sawgrass out there on some other courses.”
The prevailing wind sweeping in off the Atlantic and the level of rainfall could be deciding factors at this year’s championship.
“It rained a lot while I was there the last two days, and it’s playing very soft and very long,” said Scott.
“There’s good scores out there in good weather, but if the wind blows, it’s just going to be very difficult.
“Green complexes are very severe on some holes, and it’s just extreme penalty for a miss. There’s water on one side and big waster bunkers on the other. It’s certainly going to need some ball striking.”