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USA Today Sports Media Group
Adam Woodard

‘I think my motivation now is as strong as ever’: Adam Scott opens up on his goals, issues with the OWGR and LIV Golf at the Olympics

Adam Scott has been around professional golf for a while now. It’s part of the reason he recently joined the PGA Tour’s $60 million career earnings club.

“I think it speaks to probably more longevity. If I try to find positives in stuff about myself these days, longevity, I’ve been out here a long time,” Scott said on Tuesday ahead of his 10th career start at the Sony Open in Hawaii. “Generally played at a high level, so it adds up.”

The Australian never had a career money goal in mind when he turned professional back in 2000. In fact, his goals were pretty simple: win majors and make it to world No. 1.

“After a few years on Tour, like maybe many others if we’re all being honest, felt like they were going to be unattainable because (Tiger Woods) was so dominant at No. 1 and he was winning about two majors a year,” Scott explained. “If I’m honest, my golf in the majors wasn’t even close to looking threatening, so it was an interesting first 10 years of my career, I think, because I’m not sure that for whatever reason I kind of — I didn’t give up, but it seemed a little bit unattainable.”

At 42, Scott feels those dreams are even more attainable now.

“This year I’m playing the schedule I want to play,” he said. “I feel like I don’t have to chase anything and I can prioritize everything I need to do to win big events and put myself in a position where I want to be kind of fulfilling those dreams as a kid.

I think my motivation now is as strong as ever.”

With 14 PGA Tour and 11 DP World Tour victories, Scott has won from Augusta, Georgia, to his native Australia. From Qatar to Scotland. Florida to California. Like golf’s Johnny Cash, he’s been everywhere (though Scott would be the Man in Tan, rather than black.) That longevity has given Scott a perspective that few players can provide. Luckily for fans, the 2013 Masters champion isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

During Tuesday’s press conference he talked about Official World Golf Ranking points and his disagreements with the new format, saying the board “tried to do the right thing and go very objective, just purely based off strength of field, but we’re seeing top players don’t see the strength of field weighted the same as the numbers do.”

He spoke about “the best evening of the year” at the Masters Champions Dinner, where Fred Couples “does a great job needling some of the older players into telling stories.” Scott even started what appeared to be a great story about “Bernhard Langer getting sat down” by former Augusta National chairman Billy Payne one night.

“I can’t remember the details now, but that was the gist of it, ‘You can sit down.’” Scott remembered with a smile.

“(Hideki Matsuyama’s) was a great dinner. He rehearsed his speech and spoke English, and I think the room really appreciated that a lot. Even though it was three minutes or something, probably felt like an hour for him,” said Scott. “But I think the room really appreciated that and showed how much it meant to him to be a part of that club. So that was memorable and it was recent as well. It was memorable for me.”

And like most meetings with the press these days, he was asked about LIV Golf and its place in professional golf. More specifically, Scott was asked about his fellow Aussie and world No. 3 Cam Smith, who made the move to LIV last year and now runs the risk of failing to qualify for the Australian Olympic team in 2024 if his world ranking tanks due to LIV events not receiving OWGR points.

“I think it would be unfortunate; however, again, like everyone said, they’ve made their decisions and some of those decisions — well, that decision may come with some sacrifice in the short or long-term,” explained Scott. “In the short term, it was sacrificing the ability to have world ranking points. If they didn’t know that, then they’re realizing that’s the case at the moment. So I think it would be unfortunate, yes, for Australia and their team.

“But, you know, it’s not — Cam also made these decisions as did (Marc Leishman) and Matt Jones and any other Aussie who has gone on there,” he continued. “There may be some sacrifice. Seems like they’re OK with living with that mostly, at least the Aussies seem that way.”

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