Adam Scott is liking his chances at Royal Liverpool
Adam Scott acknowledged he has never been in better position to win the British Open.
The world No 1 skipped the Scottish Open last week to spend an extra four days of meticulous planning at the Royal Liverpool links, site of the 143rd Open Championship that begins this morning.
Scott learnt much from his close encounter with the claret jug at Royal Lytham in 2012, when a late collapse handed the title to Ernie Els.
But Scott won the Masters nine months later, and his career has continued on an upwards spiral to the top of the rankings.
The Australian, 33, has three top-10 finishes in his past four majors and has recorded eight in his past 14 appearances at golf’s premier events.
“I’m playing some of my best golf at the moment and I don’t know how long that’s going to last, so I’ve got to try to take advantage and win all the events that I’d really love to win, and this is certainly one of them,” he said Wednesday.
“I’ve given myself a couple of opportunities and haven’t done it. I think maybe the third time you have to do it or it might not come back around.
“Lytham was the proving to me that I’ve got what it takes to win. It was obviously not the finish there, but it gave me a lot of confidence, not just about playing well in majors but also that I had the game to win an Open Championship.
“I’m playing some of the best golf of my life at the moment so I should really be taking advantage of it and stepping up this week and putting myself in with a good chance.”
Scott tried to give himself a better chance by arriving at Hoylake earlier than most of his fellow professionals and practising hard.
“I got up here on Thursday and I’ve played every day. There was no range open up here then, so I just came out and played pretty much 18 every day except Saturday,” he said.
“I got to come and play the Open Championship course when it’s closed, the week before. It’s a real perk of the job, I think.”
He said it is “very hard” to adjust to links golf “in the short space of time we have and that’s why I find it valuable coming up the week before, because I feel I need to give myself a good week of really understanding”.
“I feel like I can come out here and learn the golf course I’m trying to perform on,” he said.
Scott had some success at Royal Liverpool in 2006, when he finished joint eighth.
Tiger Woods won that tournament, but the American has played only two competitive rounds since back surgery.
The players have been complimentary of the set-up at Royal Liverpool, with former champion Padraig Harrington describing it as almost too immaculate.
Henrik Stenson, the Swede ranked No 2 in the world, has not managed to scale the same peaks he did last year, but his form is slowly returning and he is likely to be in contention.
The Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open winner Martin Kaymer and former world No 1 Rory McIlroy will also have plenty of support from the fans.
The favourite might be Justin Rose, who is bidding for a rare hat-trick of tour wins after landing the Quicken Loans title and last week’s Scottish Open crown.
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Published: July 16, 2014 04:00 AM