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June 10, 2013

Adam Scott: I'm 'third wheel' in Tiger-Rory pairing

Adam_300Adam Scott is the 2013 Masters champ, but he won't even get second-banana status during the first and second round of this week's U.S. Open, when Scott, the No. 3-ranked player in the world plays with No. 1 Tiger Woods and No. 2 Rory McIlroy.

"I'm probably the third wheel this week as well," Scott said at Merion on Monday. "That's why I'm No. 3 in the world, otherwise I wouldn't be the third wheel.

The hype surrounding this power trio shouldn't bother Scott, however. He was part of an even more-hyped group at the 2008 U.S. Open when he played with Woods and Phil Mickelson.

"Remembering back to Torrey Pines, the hype was enormous around that pairing. Obviously with Tiger and Phil, it was so much to talk about with it being Phil's hometown and Tiger dominating at Torrey for years," Scott said. "And it was a great pairing. It was an experience that I'll never forget. I've never seen that many people on a Thursday morning on the first tee. It was a great atmosphere. I think they've done it a fair few times since, but that was certainly a big pairing."

The Scott-Woods-McIlroy group tees off at 1:14 p.m. on Thursday.

Here are some other highlights from Scott's press conference:

On his early scouting trips to Merion:

"It turns out that coming up a few weeks ago was really quite valuable for me. I've had three full rounds and that's taken my time trying to figure everything out. I think I've got a pretty good idea where I'm going to try to go. Obviously with it being a little soft it becomes a little more simple than what it was. The ball is just going to stop where it lands. So if you're accurate you'll be fine."

On playing in his first major since winning the Masters:

"I can't lie to you, I do feel a lot better coming here, even discussing that kind of thing. It's a good feeling to come here to know that I've achieved that. I've got my first Major. And my sights are definitely set on trying to win more. But it is a nice feeling. I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel playing for the first time in a Major after having won, to see if there's less pressure or if up I'm going to put more pressure on myself, I don't really know."

On playing with Tiger:

"His form is pretty good. He's won four times this year, so he's all right. I'm not too worried about his form.

Yeah, it will be a fun week, absolutely, some energy and electricity, playing with him at any time there always is. And given the hype around this grouping and being a major there's going to be it's going to be an intense couple of days.

But essentially that's what we're playing for. That's a pairing you'd hope for on Sunday, also, because if you don't enjoy that kind of stuff it's going to be tough for you to have success out here because at some point if you're playing well and winning a tournament you're going to have to try and beat him. And that's what you want to be out here for. That's why you spend the hours and test yourself. And I'm looking forward to that Thursday, Friday."

Photo: Adam Scott talks to the media at Merion on Monday morning (AP).

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