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    Winning Again High on Scott's Checklist

    Sam Greenwood/Augusta National
    Adam Scott of Australia looks on from No. 2 green during Tuesday's Practice Round.

    Adam Scott is busy scratching off items on his Masters champion checklist.

    Bring Green Jacket back to Augusta National Golf Club. Pose for pictures with fans. Pose for pictures with fans’ kids. Fit gear into the locker shared with Gary Player in the Champions Locker Room. Play two practice rounds with dad. Host dinner for all the Masters champions. Serve Australian surf and turf.

    But there’s one more thing: Climb between the ropes and defend his Masters title.

    It’s already been a whirlwind week for Scott, whose responsibilities as the Masters champion have been many. The first Australian to win the Masters, Scott enjoyed the experience so much that he’s planning on repeating it on Sunday.

    “I think I’ll be ready to get inside the ropes and compete,” Scott said. “I’m trying to balance everything the best I can and enjoy it. I think once we pass [the Champions Dinner] and it’s down to Wednesday, the nerves and anticipation will build, and I’ll feel like it’s just another major championship to go and play.

    “I feel like I’m playing really well. … I’m definitely feeling a lot more comfortable on this golf course over the last few years, and certainly winning. And the confidence you take from that helps, as well. So I look forward to playing Thursday.”

    No one played better than Scott last April when he made the Masters his breakthrough tournament. In the final round, Scott birdied the 18th hole and then the second hole of a playoff with Angel Cabrera to win his first major and end a winless streak in majors of 47 in a row.

    He did it with his nerves and his touch with his irons. Scott led the field in greens in regulation, hitting 76.4 percent of them. Touch, and power, too: Scott's 293.8-yard average off the tee ranked in the top 20 last Masters.

    How it ended was classic: As darkness and showers fell, Scott bent his knees and raised his arms in celebration. Now, a year later and once again at Augusta National, the No. 2-ranked player in the world owns a chance to pass Tiger Woods and become No. 1.

    “I think everyone gets a window … but you know, my window of opportunity I really think is right now, and I don’t know when it will close,” he said.

    Scott said the journey in the direction of No. 1 is more of a marathon than a sprint. He said it is a progression, and he uses how well he plays as his motivation, so that becoming No. 1 should simply fall into place.

    “There’s absolutely motivation, but the motivation is just to play well. I feel like my game is at a point where if I play well, I have got a chance to win this tournament. That’s my goal this week. And the follow on from that would be world No. 1.

    “If I can keep chipping away at it, whether I win or not this week and get to No. 1, my goal is just to keep playing well. I don’t tee it up thinking, ‘I’m going to try to be world No. 1.’ It just works out.”

    Scott has three top 10s in five PGA Tour events this year, including a third-place finish at Bay Hill, where he seemed in control with a 62-68 start but finished 71-76.

    Still, Scott counted the positives.

    “The game was there at Bay Hill, and I’ve just tried to keep it there, and I felt like it was getting to a place where it needed to be to contend here,” he said. “Hopefully I’ve sharpened it up a little more since then.”

    As far as the defending Masters winner is concerned, he’s prepared to get down to official business. So pass the barbecue and lobster, practice one more day, listen to his introduction on the first tee and then hit his drive somewhere between the stand of trees on the left and the gaping bunker on the right.

    It’s the first shot and part of the process. And in the end, maybe he can keep his Green Jacket for another year.

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    Scott Celebrating Victory
    Rusty Jarrett/Augusta National
    Masters champion Adam Scott and his dad, Phil
    Charles Laberge/Augusta National

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