Melbourne: Adam Scott said Wednesday he was putting aside thoughts of next week`s showdown with world number one Rory McIlroy as he chases a third straight win in this week`s Australian Masters.
The Australian world number two missed a chance for a perfect end to 2013 when he bogeyed the final hole of last year`s Australian Open at Royal Sydney, with the Northern Irishman holing a giant birdie putt to win.
World golf`s top two will resume their rivalry in Sydney next week, but first Scott will defend his Australian Masters title at Melbourne`s Metropolitan course, starting on Thursday.
Scott, the 2013 US Masters champion, is vying to become the first golfer to claim three successive Australian Masters gold jackets. His boyhood idol and fellow countryman Greg Norman won six Australian Masters, but never more than two in a row.
"It`s pretty easy for me to concentrate this week," Scott told reporters.
"I`ve got a lot on the line and I can make my own little bit of history in the Australian Masters and hopefully win three in a row and that`s where my head`s at.
"If I do that it will only put me in better shape for next week so I`m only thinking about this tournament and will have to deal with Rory and all the other guys next week."
"I`ve still got a thorn in my side about the Australian Open last year so it will be fun to have another crack at that," he added.
Scott arrived in Melbourne last week for an extra round to familiarise himself with the Metropolitan, despite having played the sand-belt course about 10 times.
"I certainly feel like I`ve prepared well and I`d love to keep this good run going," he said. "I need to get my head around the Metropolitan pretty quickly."
Scott will again be playing in all of Australia`s big three end-of-year tournaments -- the Masters, Open and Australian PGA Championship.
While he stands out as the major drawcard, others in the Masters field include US PGA Tour event-winning Americans Kyle Stanley and Boo Weekley and Australian contenders Geoff Ogilvy, Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby.
The Masters, whose roll call of past winners includes Norman, Ian Poulter (2011), Tiger Woods (2009), Justin Rose (2006) and Colin Montgomerie (2001), has fallen on hard times with organisers unable to entice leading international stars to play.
Organisers are hoping that flexible scheduling dates and finding an overseas tour to co-sanction their event will future-proof the 36-year-old Melbourne-based tournament.