Adam Scott explains the mind games Tiger Woods deployed on the course

Adam Scott took to GOLF’s Subpar podcast to discuss winning the Masters, playing golf with Tiger Woods, the Presidents Cup and more.

Getty Images

When he was in his prime, it was no secret that Tiger Woods was the most talented golfer on the course. But other pros have long raved about the other gift Woods had, which might have been his best: his mind.

Adam Scott, who will be competing in his 10th Presidents Cup this week, has faced Woods many times over the past two decades. They first met in the gymnasium at UNLV when Woods sometimes worked there and Scott was a student athlete at school, but they didn’t really get to know each other until ‘they both work with Butch Harmon.

Scott has learned a lot about Woods, and on this week’s Subpar podcast with co-hosts Drew Stoltz and Colt Knost, he was asked if he had any good stories about the 15-time major champion.

“A lot of them,” Scott said.

The Australian went on to explain how Woods was better than everyone else and also talked about the psychological warfare he would use on the golf course.

“Physically, he did everything better than everyone else. He rode it better than anyone, irons, chipped, putted, clutch, it was all better than anyone,” Scott said. “And that’s why he dominated. He just had it better in mind than everyone else, and then it got to the point where he was just playing mind games on the course and in the majors. He would shoot way too much clubs on a par 3 and let you see it as it unfolded. He was doing kind of a full swing with a 7 and stealing it right in there and letting you see it was a 7, and you were asking if it was an 8 or a 9. And you were like, ‘Well, it’s definitely an 8 if he hits 7’, then you go ahead and hit an 8 and send the green flying.

“It was kind of the standard thing when he was playing with guys so much,” Scott continued. “It got to the point where I started having success playing Tiger by not watching him play. It was the best way to go. I literally turned my back and didn’t seen moving or kicking or feeling like I could get sucked into the drama that was playing with Tiger Woods because there was so much going on.

Scott brought up a history of the 2000 Open Championship at St. Andrews, which was Scott’s first major as a professional. He played a practice round with Woods, David Duval and Mark O’Meara.

Playing for money, Scott was the only bogey-free player on 10 holes. On the 11th, playing an approach into the wind, Woods hit a clean 4 iron into the green. Scott had a 5 iron in his hand, which he thought was the right club. But after seeing Woods’ shot, Scott began to question his club selection. If Woods, one of the best hitters and longest hitters on the planet, hits the 4 iron from there, could Scott get a 5 iron from a similar spot?

“I saw he hit the 4, went back to the sack, got the 4 and air-balled the green,” Scott said. “[Tiger] said, ‘You should never look at my bag.’

You can listen to Scott’s entire Subpar appearance below, in which he talks about the Presidents Cup, his career, where his family lives now and more.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the editor of GOLF.com. The Minnesota native earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University at Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.

Leave a Comment