Published June 10, 2013
ARDMORE, Pa. – Don't let the location fool you. Adam Scott spends a lot of time in the Bahamas, which is where he does most of his work.
Scott has spent part of his time in the Bahamas the past couple of years, practicing and playing out of Albany Golf Club. The practice is important, because Scott has limited his schedule in recent years, and the key to that is being ready to compete when he does play on tour.
"There are times when practice is a couple of hours a day," Scott said. "And then there are times, like last week, where good preparation and good practice is four to five hours a day.
"I like that kind of number, because that's about the amount of time that I try to concentrate playing a round on tour. It's not just random. I think the amount of things I do randomly with golf is very few. Most of it is planned and purposeful."
He said practicing between four and five hours is the right amount of time to get quality work and keep his focus, as he would in a round of golf.
Scott said the new balance of limited tournaments and more practice to keep sharp has made him a better player. He wasn't the first to think of this.
"It's no secret," Scott said. "Tiger (Woods) doesn't play much and he plays well all the time. (Greg) Norman played a really limited schedule, and he was a dominant player for a long time. It depends on what you do when you're not playing. It's not sitting at home on the couch. It's doing something that's making you better."
But what about the rest of his time in the Bahamas? Go to the beach. Fishing?
"I go to the gym," Scott said.
And after the gym?
"Then I sit on the couch," he said with a smile.
THE HANDSHAKE: In what was talked about Monday as "The Handshake," Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia finally saw each other on the practice range for the first time since Garcia jokingly said last month he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and "we will serve fried chicken."
They shook hands on the range, a moment captured by a fan who posted it to his Twitter account.
Woods and Garcia had been going at it since the third round of The Players Championship, a feud that began when Garcia suggested Woods should have been paying attention when taking a club from the bag, which caused the gallery to cheer as Garcia was about to play his shot.
They traded bards for the next few weeks through the media, which led to Garcia's remark May 22 at a European Tour awards dinner in England.
Both are scheduled to have news conferences Tuesday.
ALTERNATES: Former Masters champion Mike Weir has done just enough at qualifying to earn a spot at the U.S. Open.
Weir got one of six spots that had been set aside to accommodate anyone who moved into the top 60 in the world ranking published Monday. Kyle Stanley, who finished third at the Memorial, was at No. 60. He was the only one who qualified from the latest world ranking.
After that, five players who were alternates at the 36-hole sectional qualifying spots filled the 156-man field.
Weir lost in a playoff at the main Ohio qualifier and was first alternate. Also getting into the U.S. Open as a qualifying alternate were Ryan Palmer, Ryan Yip, Rikard Karlberg and Harold Varner III.
The next two alternates for the U.S. Open are Jesse Schutte, followed by T.J. Vogel.
THE HOGAN PLAQUE: Most players have stopped in the 18th fairway at Merion to see the plaque that commemorates where Ben Hogan hit 1-iron into the green in the final round of the 1950 U.S. Open. It led to par to get him into a three-man playoff that he won the next day.
That's a moment that won't be duplicated this week.
For one thing, that distance (214 yards) is more like a 4-iron or 5-iron for the modern player.
Plus, no one carries a 1-iron.
Jason Day has one in the bag, though it's stamped as a 2-iron. He had his equipment company bend the loft of the club so that it works like a 1-iron. Day has had it in play the past few tournaments. He's not sure if he will use it at Merion, saying it's mostly for the British Open at Muirfield.
He dropped a ball by the plaque during a practice round Sunday, but this was no time for his new clubs. Day hit 4-iron, instead.
ADAM'S LOW PROFILE: Except for the biggest stars, most players win a major and hit the talk-show circuit. Adam Scott kept it simple after winning The Masters. He made one appearance on an American TV show, one for his native Australia.
"I felt they were important for me to do," Scott said. "I feel I've been welcomed in the States and really supported and I also wanted to show my appreciation for everyone in America, as well, because I'm really lucky how much support I get out here. I really enjoy playing in front of everyone. But I felt that's all I needed to do. I try and entertain people on the golf course, not on talk shows."