AUGUSTA, Ga. — Adam Scott is relishing every part of being Masters champion.
The drive up Magnolia Lane. A couple of practice rounds with his dad. Wearing the green jacket. And certainly, the champions dinner Tuesday night.
But before anyone gets worked up about having to eat “bugs,” no worries — that’s just Aussie-speak for a type of lobster.
Scott went with surf-and-turf off the barbie for his Down Under-themed menu, so he didn’t expect too many complaints.
“I think they are going to be pretty happy with what I serve up,” the former UNLV standout said with a sly smile, “particularly the wine.”
A year later, Scott is back at the scene of his greatest triumph, a thrilling playoff victory over Angel Cabrera that gave the 33-year-old Australian his first major championship. The breakthrough, after so many close calls and missed chances, has propelled him to the greatest run of his career, including top-five finishes at both the U.S. Open and British Open.
Scott knows he has the game to add another major title or two to his resume.
He’s eager to take advantage of it.
“I’m at the highest level I’ve ever been at,” Scott said. “My window of opportunity, I really think, is right now, and I don’t know when it will close. So I just have to keep going as hard as I can right now.”
From the back of the room, his parents, Phil and Pam Scott, looked on proudly. After Adam was done with his interview session, they joined him on the podium for a family photo.
Phil Scott is pleased with the way his son has dealt with his increased fame.
“You can have respect for everything, from the game to the course to you guys,” the father told a small group of reporters. “You’ve got a choice to do it nicely or not. If you take the choice to do it nicely, I think you will have a better time.”
Phil Scott, who once coached his son, got a chance to join him on the course for practice rounds Friday and Sunday. It was the thrill of a lifetime for both of them.
The elder Scott said he probably shot in the low 80s, though neither of them took the round too seriously. Instead, they relived some of the moments from Adam’s victory a year ago, from the clutch birdie putt on the 72nd hole that led the golfer to shout “C’mon, Aussie!” to the 12-footer on the second playoff hole that gave him the green jacket.
“My dad’s been coming here for all these years I’ve been playing, so it was nice for him to stand in the middle of the fairway rather than out on the edge,” Scott said. “I think he also developed a pretty good appreciation for how good some of the guys are out here, chipping and putting around these greens.”
“This place can make a fool of you,” he said, “as it did to me.”
Not long after Scott finished off Cabrera down at the 10th hole, the winner began thinking of what it would mean to his life. Unlike so many first-time winners who are caught off guard by their newfound fame, he had a keen appreciation for how much things would change.
Scott learned to manage his time better, dealing with his increased obligations while making sure it didn’t affect the hours he needed to spend at the practice range. In addition, he eagerly relished the perks that came with being a Masters champion.
“After winning this tournament last year and everyone asking me what the best thing about it was, I always felt like there would be things in the future that would be great about coming back here for the rest of my life,” Scott said. “I’ve got lots of those memories to look forward to. That’s why this place is just so unique.”
With Tiger Woods sidelined by injury, Scott has a chance to move to No. 1 for the first time in his career. He would take over the top spot by finishing no worse than a tie for third.
Of course, he’s aiming to win another Masters, which would make him just the fourth player to capture back-to-back titles. The other ones to do it: Jack Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Woods (2001-02).
“I want to really get my head into playing well this week, because I think I’m in good form,” Scott said.
If he does win another Masters, he’ll switch up the menu for the next champions dinner.
“I would love to have served some meat pies at the cocktail hour, but it couldn’t be arranged,” Scott said. “Next time, if I get another chance to do it, I’d love to serve some meat pies.”