Kapalua, Hawaii – Adam Scott typically skips the Sentry Tournament of Champions to enjoy an extended offseason at home in Australia.
As few things are “typical” during the coronavirus pandemic, Scott is in Hawaii in January for the first time since 2014.
On the surface, it would appear ironic Scott would choose this of all years to return to the Plantation Course at Kapalua. After the Tour paused in March, he didn’t return to the United States until the PGA Championship in August. He openly questioned the Tour’s initial safety protocols and chose to remain quarantined while evaluating how well the return to play worked.
When he returned, Scott failed to finish better than a tie for 22nd at the PGA in six events, finishing up by sharing 23rd place at the Masters. He also missed the Zozo Championship after testing positive for COVID-19 in October.
Scott hasn’t competed since the Masters six weeks ago. During a time of year when he would typically play in the Australian PGA Championship, along with a worldwide tournament or two, Scott joked the extended time at home with his family “tested my patience.”
So here he is in Maui, using the year-opening event to kick start a stretch he hopes will help him peak for the Players Championship in March and the Masters in April.
“I’ve had a good break,” he said. “I think that last season wasn’t really a season for me. It was a lot of time away from the Tour and routines changed and couldn’t be put back in place, just logistics were too difficult to do it.
“So kind of had to reassess over, since the Masters, and figure out a way to kind of tackle this season. Because it looks like it’s under similar circumstances, and trying to put a good plan in place to get myself in the mix of tournaments.”
Scott won The Genesis Invitational last February to secure a spot in this week’s field. He rose to sixth in the official world golf rankings the following week. He has since slid to No. 15 and wants to improve in the big tournaments after failing to finish better than 22nd in three majors last year.
“The preparation just wasn’t ideal, obviously for any of them, to be honest,” Scott said.
Among the challenges, Scott said it’s been difficult to work with his coach, Brad Malone. It’s even more difficult now with a lockdown in place in England, where Malone lives.
“But I have to figure out a way to get it done,” Scott said. “Even under these difficult circumstances — if I’m going to come out and play I want to come out and contend and not just make up numbers, otherwise I would rather not play.”
While he’s focused on the major events, it remains to be seen if the Olympics qualify for that designation for Scott. He has not prioritized it in the past, but is keeping an open mind while seeing how the year progresses.
“I would consider playing,” he said. “It’s still not my priority for the year. That’s for sure.
“But I wouldn’t rule it out because you can never really say never, but it will certainly be something I’ll look at. Who knows where we are in the summertime?”
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