As we move into full Masters preview mode, check out Alan Bastable's Q&A with Adam Scott about a wide variety of topics.
You'll want to read the whole thing, but a few of the highlights for me:
AB: Have major setups become too severe?
AS: Yes, over the past seven or eight years, it has been too severe. Sometimes the difference between [the reward] for good golf versus mediocre golf is too great. That's why [the scores in] U.S. Open fields are spread apart so far -- you just can't score at a U.S. Open unless you're hitting all the fairways and greens. If you miss three greens per round then, okay, you've got a chance. But if you miss six to eight -- and if you look at Tour stats, you're having a better than average day if you're missing only six greens -- you've got no chance.
AB: But aren't U.S. Open setups less penal than they were 10 or 15 years ago?
AS: Yeah, they've been doing a better job. Last year [at Merion] was an exception. Last year was extreme. But the other majors have toughened up, too. They're getting tougher and tougher because the players are getting better and better.
Merion and "extreme" has been the general consensus of all who played it, both in the widths and the hole locations.
Anyway, this was interesting about how nervous he gets...
AB: But you look so calm. It's surprising to hear you say that you still get so nervous.
AS: Well, I'm calmer than I was a couple of years ago. That's part of the job -- learning to control your emotions. It used to take me six or seven holes to calm down at the Masters, before I could I feel my hands and my feet. My legs were jelly. Especially if I didn't hit any good shots early on. The first hole at Augusta is the toughest on the course. It's a slap right in the face from the get-go.
And we can add Adam Scott to the long list in the "mow the second cut" club. I also feel so old reading that he has not played the course prior to 2002. That wasn't that long ago, was it?
AB: What course changes would you make to Augusta National?
AS: I never played it until 2002 so I'm not the best judge, but there seemed to be many more angles. It was much more wide open. They've tree-lined a lot of holes that have greens that sit perpendicular to the fairways, where you could have created angles before, and now you can't. That's toughened the course up but robbed it of some of its character. The only thing I'd say is I'd love to see them do away with the rough or the first... cut? Is that what they call it?