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Number One ranking so close, yet so far: Scott

Australia’s newest golfing hero Adam Scott believes he’s as close as he’s ever been to clinching the number one ranking in the sport, but says he’s got a lot of work to do if he’s to topple Tiger Woods from the top.

“I’m going to have to raise my game to that next level, and the only way to get there is to win a lot of tournaments, because the guy who’s Number One [Tiger Woods] is winning five a year – average,” he said.

Scott spoke ahead of tomorrow’s opening round of the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne, and says the position he finds himself in is a far cry from only a few years ago.

“For so long, number one was so far from being attainable for me…it never really entered my mind,” he said.

“If I can keep working the way I have been and performing the way I have been, it’s possible to get there. I don’t feel like I’m far off being the best player in the world.

“It’s not something I think as a goal. I think it’s something that comes from the process and just winning. It’ll come with that,” he said.

After winning the Australian Open in 2009, Scott admits he struggled to find his groove on the golf course, and felt under the pump when returning down-under during the US PGA Tour off-season.

“I’ve always felt like coming back as one of the better Australian players, there was pressure on me to perform,” he said.

“Winning the [Australian] Masters last year was a big deal to me, but I think since then and obviously winning at Augusta…there’s less for me to prove.

“It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling for me to feel that everyone was so excited about the [US] Masters and wants to see me do well. It’s a very nice feeling,” he said.

Having waited so long for an Australian winner at Augusta following Greg Norman’s famous shortcomings at the tournament, Scott’s triumph has many saying he’s taken over the mantle as the one to inspire a nation of golfers.

Scott is more than happy being a role model for young golfers around the country, but see’s it differently to most.

“I don’t know that I’ve felt that. I see it differently than when I was a kid looking at Greg [Norman],” he said.

“I don’t know if that’s what I’m doing.

“I enjoyed how many kids were out there [Australian PGA Championship] last week. If I can inspire young kids to want to play golf and be out there; if they think they want to play like Adam Scott then that’s great.

“There are a bunch of us. Geoff Ogilvy is a major champion; Jason Day is playing great golf. There’s a host of us who are in that position – who can carry Australian golf, and not just rely on one person, hopefully,” he said.

But as a nation of fanatics look to become just like him, the down-to-earth Queenslander is simply enjoying his golf.

“I’ve got a bit of momentum going,” he said. “I’m just thoroughly enjoying everything I’m doing.”

Having claimed his maiden major in April, and winning last week on the Gold Coast, Scott turns his attention to the gem of Australian golf – Royal Melbourne – where he’ll defend the title he won at Kingston Heath last year.

“Royal Melbourne is magic. I just love this golf course,” he said.

“It’s one of the highlights of my year to play a golf course like this.”

And to win here on such a brilliant piece of architecture that has stood the test of time, would cap off a brilliant year for Scott.

“People say you haven’t achieved everything in golf unless you’ve won The [British] Open at St Andrews, but for an Australian I think to win a tournament at Royal Melbourne is the same thing, and I’d love to do that.”

When asked if he had an exact number of majors he’d like to win from here, Scott chuckled: “Two.”

While Australia can hardly contain its excitement, Aussie Adam isn’t getting ahead of himself just yet.

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