- Associated Press - Sunday, April 1, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - Adam Scott on a golf course is a rare sighting this year, although Augusta National was closed to the paying customers Sunday and the Australian had a practice round in quiet.

When he tees it up Thursday at the Masters, it will be only his 10th competitive round this year.

Part of that was due to missing the opening two tournaments in Hawaii while recovering from having his tonsils removed. And part of that is by design.

Scott is looking for the right formula to produce his best performance in the majors. His plan is to practice more and play less.

It certainly worked for him last year, when Scott was among eight players who had a share of the lead at one point in the final round of the Masters. He took the lead with a birdie on the 16th hole, stayed strong with a clutch par putt on the 17th and wound up tied for second when Charl Schwartzel made Masters history with birdies on his last four holes to win by two.

Scott has watched highlights of last year’s Masters only once, and that was about three weeks after the tournament.

“It’s a huge positive for me,” he said. “I should probably watch it more. Everything for me to remember was a good thing.”

Even so, there remain questions whether he can repeat that performance, if not do better and win the one major that has eluded the Australians. Scott is fresh, no doubt. But does he have enough rounds under his belt to be sharp?

“I think if he had played rubbish last year, he might try something else,” said Geoff Ogilvy, one of Scott’s best friends. “But he played so well last year and he really liked it.”

Don’t get the idea Scott has been sitting at the beach, or in the stands at tennis tournaments watching girlfriend Ana Ivanovic. A big change for him has been settling at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas, giving him an ideal practice facility close to America.

Scott is confident with the amount of time he has put in. He spent most of the week on chipping and putting, an area that figures to be pivotal in anyone’s success at Augusta.

“There’s only one guy here this week that I saw work as hard as me,” Scott said.

That would be Tiger Woods, but to clarify, Woods is the only other player Scott saw at his new haven in the Bahamas.

So who worked harder?

“I think I did,” Scott said, grinning. “It was pretty even. I’d just stay on the putting green a little longer.”

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