Scott says he’s more confident than ever

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Scott headed to Kiawah Island earlier this week to see The Ocean Course, where the PGA Championship is being held for the first time. First up is the Bridgestone Invitational, where a year ago Scott claimed his first World Golf Championship by closing with a 65 for a four-shot win.

The 78-man field at Firestone is for select winners from around the world, the top 50 in the world ranking and players from the last Presidents Cup teams. Scott is the defending champion, though the favorite returns to being Tiger Woods, a three-time winner this year who has won seven times at Firestone.

Els is playing for the third straight week. He lived up to a sponsor obligation last week at the Canadian Open, where he missed the cut and hung around Toronto for the weekend to throw out the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game.

Els described his text messages with Scott as “buddy stuff.” Even now, he feels for the 32-year-old Australian, even though their careers are nothing alike.

“The pain is there, I know that,” Els said. “But he’s handling it unbelievably well, and I truly think that he now believes he can win multiple majors. He had an opportunity. It didn’t quite happen his way. But if you look back, Nick Price in the early `80s did the same, basically gifted Tom Watson one at Troon. And there’s been quite a few situations like that. So he’s not the only one.

“And he’s young enough where he can bounce back and win quite a few.”

Another text came from Rory McIlroy, who blew a four-shot lead at the 2011 Masters with an 80 in the last round. McIlroy won the next major with a record score at Congressional in the U.S. Open.

“I sort of felt like I knew how he was feeling,” McIlroy said. “I just said to him, `Don’t let the last four holes hide the fact that you played better than everyone else for the first 68. … It’s tough. It’s a tough loss. At that moment in time, you think it’s the only chance you’re ever going to get, and your whole world came crashing down. But in reality, Adam is such a great player that he’s going to have plenty of chances to win more major championships.”

That’s the way Scott is looking at it.

As he headed to the practice range, he talked about taking more confidence out of the Open.

“If I felt like that was my last chance, I might never play again. I’d be devastated,” he said. “I’m going to win. For me, the greatest thing for my career was to know that I can play that good in a major.”

And he smiled at one last observation. It seems everyone feels sorry for Scott except him.

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