Rookies boost President Cup morale: Adam Scott
By Jim Slater ,AFPCOLUMBUS -- World number two Adam Scott feels rejuvenated about the Presidents Cup, with seven newcomers helping bring a relaxed but determined mentality to the Internationals squad against the United States.
October 4, 2013, 12:17 am TWN
The Masters champion from Australia will be paired alongside Japan's Hideki Matsuyama against Bill Haas and Webb Simpson when the biennial matches begin Thursday at Muirfield Village.
“It has been very relaxed, but I think the mood is good,” Scott said after Wednesday's final practice round. “Seven guys have never been here before and they are extremely excited and we can feel that and we're using some of their enthusiasm for team morale.”
The Americans own a 7-1-1 edge in the all-time rivalry, the only Internationals win coming in 1998 at Australia.
Scott has had enough of being thumped by U.S. rivals and said as much before the event, saying the Internationals needed to start winning to make the event competitive.
“It's really important for the Internationals to get a win,” Scott said. “We need to make this thing really relevant. It has got a bit lopsided the last few outings.
“We have got a team that can win this week, but the only way we can do it is by playing good and wanting it more than the Americans.
“The last few days have been about building our spirit and our feeling to the point where we want it badly.”
That grit blends newcomers and veterans alike around a single goal.
“Everyone is determined,” Scott said. “The guys who have not been here want to start on the right foot and the guys who have played in several want to turn this around and get a win.
“I see seven guys here for the first time pumped up and ready to go and that is giving me a great feeling about the Presidents Cup after having as run of some really big defeats. The atmosphere in our room is great this year.
“Everyone is coming in determined to put ourselves in front and try and win as many sessions as we can.”
That effort starts with Thursday's six four-ball matches, in which Internationals captain Nick Price counts on Scott's experience to steady Matsuyama, 21, in his first pro pairs match.
“It's a strong pairing we've got. I think we're expecting to win points together,” Scott said. “I'm excited to play with Hideki. He's going to be a great partner. He hits every fairway and every green, so I will have that to rely on.”
Matsuyama shared sixth at the British Open this year and 10th at the U.S. Open.
“He's pretty much all business at this point,” Scott said. “He works really hard at his game and he's nervous and excited for this week. He has fit in well in the team room.
“We have kept everything loose. Nick's idea is if you are not in shorts and a t-shirt, then you are overdressed and I think that has worked well for everyone.”
If the Internationals are going to upset the Americans, Scott figures it needs to start with a better start. The global team has not led after a session since the second day in 2005.
“We have always been on the back foot after day one and momentum is a big thing,” Scott said. “We need to go out and win the session and that's going to be our goal for every day.
“If we can get a little momentum going, then I really believe we can win this thing. If we get enough of us playing well then we're going to be tough to beat.”