Great Scott still believes ahead of 23rd Masters tilt

A defiant Adam Scott believes another victory may be just around the corner as Australia's only Masters winner prepares to tee up for an extraordinary 90th consecutive major championship.

Turning 44 this year, Scott still yearns for an elusive second career major, more than a decade after his play-off triumph over Angel Cabrera at Augusta National in 2013.

Such burning desire drove Scott through the slumps and Monday qualifying at the 2018 US Open to keep his incredible streak alive, and was also behind the former world No.1's decision to shake up his schedule ahead of a 23rd Masters tilt.

Adam Scott celebrates winning the 2013 Masters.
Adam Scott celebrates after making a birdie putt on the second play-off hole to win 2013's Masters.

Scott opted to play the Texas Open for the first time since 2018 and tied for 14th at TPC San Antonio on Sunday, his fourth top-20 result of the year.

It was a timely boost after missing the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and sharing 45th at The Players Championship.

"I was playing pretty nicely on the west coast, although I didn't putt my best for the first time in a while, and then I had a pretty flat couple of weeks in Florida," Scott said ahead of Thursday's opening round at Augusta.

"Just wasn't on my game at all there. Nothing that I'm concerned about at all. 

"I feel very confident and comfortable with where my swing is at, and every part of my game."

To put his remarkable longevity in perspective, Scott's 90 successive major appearances, stretching over 23 years, is more than double that of the next longest run among active players - Jordan Spieth's 42.

Tiger Woods's record is 46 in a row.

After surging past Tom Watson last year, Scott's sequence is second only to Jack Nicklaus's 146 without missing between 1962 and 1998.

Such supreme consistency - plus a runner-up, three other top-10s, five additional top-25s and a total of 20 cuts made at Augusta to go with his green-jacket performance - might explain why the talismanic Queenslander feels comfortable arriving late this year. 

Adam Scott in green jacket in 2013.
Scott in the celebrated green jacket after winning the Masters in 2013.

"I've played there a lot," Scott said.

"I know they changed the second (hole) and I know they've relaid a couple of greens, but I can go in there at this point feeling pretty comfortable.

"(I) should be confident that I know the golf course well enough on a couple of practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I'm pretty open to just doing whatever I feel is best. Juggling lots of different factors at this point in my career.

"I end up just relying on a gut instinct of what feels right and what's not. 

"It's even less about 'does this course suit me?' and 'is this the right week to play?', if I feel like I need to play."

Jasper Stubbs
Rookie amateur Jasper Stubbs is one of six Australians in the field for the 2024 Masters.

Nicklaus won the last of his six Masters aged 46.

While Scott hasn't won in more than four years, the 43-year-old absolutely believes he still can.

"It's been a long time since I have lifted a trophy (but) I feel like my game is in that place where it could turn any week," he said.

"It's all there. I need to somehow put myself in that position and make a putt at the right time and get back in that spot."

Scott is among six Australians in the 2024 Masters field, joining former runners-up Jason Day and Cameron Smith, along with Min Woo Lee, Cam Davis and rookie amateur Jasper Stubbs.

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