Los Angeles: Adam Scott was on the range at Riviera on Tuesday and had every reason to feel like a stranger. He is the only player from the top 10 in the world who has yet to play a tournament this year.
“I may have to introduce myself to a fair bit of people,” Scott said.
Waiting until the Northern Trust Open to begin his 2012 season was only partially by design. Scott had planned to be at Kapalua for the PGA Tour opener, but he had his tonsils taken out in December. He said the recovery time for an adult is about three weeks.
Scott said he had tonsillitis at least five times a year for the last couple of seasons, and when it happened at the Deutsche Bank Championships—he was tied for the lead through 36 holes—that was the last straw.
“It was the first time I had it during a tournament,” he said. “I figured if I had it during a major, it would be one less chance of getting one.”
The three-month break was the longest of his career, and it was the first time in 10 years Scott has spent so much time at home in Australia. It allowed him to get his mind off golf, and it made him eager to return.
“I’m really ready to play, and that’s important, too,” Scott said. “I’ve been starved of tournament golf at the moment.”
The majors were also behind his late start to the year.
Scott has not performed well in the biggest events throughout his career as he tried to find the right schedule leading up to the majors. He might have found something a year ago, when he was runner-up at the Masters and finished seventh in the PGA Championship. It was only the second time he had two top 10s in the majors in one year.
Scott will play the Match Play Championship, Doral and then take part in the Tavistock Cup. That means he will play three tournaments and a 36-hole made-for-TV exhibition before going to the first major.
But it worked last year.
“Look, I’ve tried so many different things trying to get myself in the best shape for the biggest events, and until last year, I didn’t play very good in the biggest events,” he said. “Last year I changed it up and took my time getting ready properly, and I had a good result. It worked last year. I have to try to do something similar.”
Scott also hopes the late start will keep him fresh at the end. Despite a solid season, he felt flat when the FedEx Cup playoffs began.