Adam Scott thinks he can “do a Bubba” at the Masters this week.
Only Jack Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Tiger Woods (2001-02) have successfully defended the Masters title.
But 17 players have won more than one green jacket.
Scott’s breakthrough victory in 2013 has been sandwiched by Bubba Watson’s two wins and now, with the pressures of being defending champion off his back, the Australian feels ready to become the 18th multiple champion.
“It is tough to defend any title but especially around here when the best players all come together and they are trying to peak for this event,” Scott explained.
“So to defend is an incredible achievement, I think only three have done it, and it’s a hard task.
“But you do develop that comfort with the golf course and I think that is why you see quite a lot of multiple winners here.
“You can develop that knack of how to play the course and by winning one your confidence boost is huge and it’s a little bit like you tee off with big nerves but they settle a bit quicker because you don’t have to worry the whole week whether you are ever going to win the Masters.
“I’m thinking I can do a Bubba this week.”
The 79th Masters is shaping to be a great one with numerous big name players in form, the fact world No.1 Rory McIlroy is going for a career grand slam and human headline Tiger Woods returning from his self-imposed tour exile to sharpen his game.
With young guns like 21-year-old world No.4 Jordan Spieth and world No.5 Jason Day also getting attention, world No.6 Scott is enjoying a relatively quiet preparation.
“There’s big stories in golf this week, and I certainly am not missing being one of them at the moment,” said Scott. “But hopefully that will change Sunday.”
Day continued his preparation on Tuesday by playing a practice round in tournament conditions, trying to mirror the feelings that will come Thursday in the opening round.
“It’s obviously better to over prepare here than under prepare,” Day said.
I feel I have the game and the game plan to attack this golf course the way it needs to be but there’s going to be a lot of stiff competition.”
Woods, who is playing his 20th Masters and seeking a fifth title, is 10 years removed from his last win at Augusta and almost seven years away his 14th and last major.
Now 111th in the world, he hasn’t played a tournament since early February but is confident he has his game back in shape after a run of awful results.
“I’m excited, excited to be back playing at this level,” said Woods.
“I feel like my game is finally ready to compete at this level, the highest level.
“I worked my ass off. That’s the easiest way to describe it.
“People would never understand how much work I put into it to come back and do this again but it was sunup to sundown, it was a lot of work.”
McIlroy, who comes into the event with the last two major championships in his hip pocket, is looking to better his previous best finish of a tie for eighth (2014) at Augusta.
He is hoping to join Woods, Gene Sarazan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Ben Hogan as winners of a career grand slam.
“You come here to Augusta National, it’s such an intimidating place the first time, and I felt like I may have shown it a little bit too much respect at times instead of playing my normal game and playing the way I usually do.
“That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned, just try and get it out of your head where you are and what it means and just try to execute your shots like you normally do.”
Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden and Antonio Murdaca join the Australian tilt while countryman Marc Leishman is yet to confirm his place or withdraw as he supports his ailing wife in hospital.