Wednesday 21 February 2018

Scott has one eye in the weather at Oakmont

Adam Scott
Adam Scott

Phil Casey

Former world number one Adam Scott is hoping the weather forecast proves spot on so he can adopt a more aggressive approach than many of his US Open rivals.

Rain is predicted for Thursday's first round at Oakmont, where tournament officials felt moved to cut the rough after conceding that it was "too penal" when combined with "legendarily fast" greens.

Such conditions have prompted the likes of Jason Day and Rory McIlroy to plot a somewhat conservative game plan, but Scott is hoping the rain will help him challenge for a second major title.

"I was here a week and a half ago and it was playing nice and firm," said the 2013 Masters champion, who finished fourth at Chambers Bay last year after a closing 64.

"It rained a lot that night and I played the next day with Rory and both of us probably made five or six birdies each that day, playing really nicely. The greens become receptive. The fairways become slightly wider because a ball down the edge of the fairway doesn't run out into the rough. Even though it may play longer, I think it will play much easier if it rains.

"I think you've got to challenge this golf course. You look at the field, you look at the quality of players and how well a lot of the top players are playing and it's going to be a very, very difficult golf course to lay back and execute perfectly all week.

"The greens are just so severe that coming in with a longer club all the time is probably going to catch up with you. And I feel like if any of the top guys play well, you're at a disadvantage if you're plodding your way around.

"That doesn't necessarily mean attack. You've got to be a little bit smart, of course, but I think my plan certainly is to challenge this golf course this week."

How Scott copes with greens running above 14 on the stimpmeter remains to be seen, although the 35-year-old did win back-to-back tournaments earlier this season having been forced to revert to a regular putter following the ban on anchored strokes which came into effect on January 1.

"I think you've just really got to have the right mindset going out this week to enjoy whatever gets thrown at you," Scott added.

"If you get crazy putts, enjoy the challenge of it. Do whatever you have to do to fool yourself that it's not do or die and just have some fun with it. Stay calm.

"It's going to be the same for everybody even though you feel like it's just you making a meal of the golf course. You've really got to have the right mental approach and not get frustrated. I think the guys who are going to play well this week will be upbeat and calm and kind of just floating around the golf course and won't get dragged into all the bad stuff that's out there."

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