Adam Scott’s nerves used to have him severely under the gun on the opening nine holes of the Masters.
Now, with a green jacket safely tucked away in the Champions locker room, it’s a different story.
Scott completed his preparations for the 2015 Masters with a final trip around the front nine at August National, a collection of holes he has played 22-over-par in his 48 tournament rounds.
While those numbers aren’t great reading, it is worse when you look at just the opening seven, where the Queenslander is 41-over, with the opening hole (+20) his clear weakness.
His first birdies ever on number one, known as Tea Olive, came in the opening rounds over the last two years and as such the 2013 champion feels he’s on the way to handling the problem hole.
“I think a lot of the pressure is taken off when you’ve won it,” world No.6 Scott said with a smile.
“I certainly identified it was a problem and there will be nerves for sure but I’d like to see them calm early and get off to a good start.
“A good start here can really set you up for a great round and one great round can go a long long way at a major.”
Asked how countryman and world No.5 Jason Day might be feeling, given he hasn’t won a green jacket but is a hot tip from many this year, Scott expected nerves would be a factor early.
“This was and is the most nervous I feel at any event I wouldn’t be surprised if Jason is the same,” Scott said.
“Anyone coming in who has not won, it’s a dream to win, and those nerves build and questions are asked the longer it goes on.
“It’s very difficult.”
Day opted to finish his preparation with the social par-three contest, playing with his wife Ellie and two-year-old son Dash as caddies.
He then headed to the range for some last minute fine tuning given he will go out in the final group of the day in the opening round.
“The amount of preparation I’ve put in, I feel really good about it.
“But now it is about going out there and executing the game plan, executing the shots and giving yourself the chance of winning the tournament,” he said.
It is all the old cliches but it is real. I have to stay in the moment. I have to hit the shot that is in front of me.
“It’s exciting because it feels like it has been a long week and I’m looking forward to it because I know from Thursday to Sunday it is going to go quick.”