How does Adam Scott break out of golf funk? ‘I’d better get my head back on and figure it out’

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SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – When Adam Scott competes, he’s usually the picture of the poised golfer, often wearing an inscrutable look on his face that makes it hard to tell if he’s shooting 62 or 82.

“I know he gets mad, everyone does, but he holds himself together better than anyone I’ve ever seen,” said fellow PGA Tour pro Harris English.

But leaving the scoring area at the British Open in July after another middling performance and another lost opportunity to add to his major haul that has been stuck at one since he won the 2013 Masters, Scott couldn’t hide his disappointment. One reporter on the scene said he cut the look of a dejected figure.

“That was kind of rock bottom of frustration for me with everything,” Scott said. “It had been a challenging season of golf for me, and of course that affects my general attitude. I put so much into my career and sacrificed a lot of things, including time at home to do this, and I just wasn’t getting the results, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a result-based kind of industry or profession that I’m in. I found that very frustrating.”

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Scott, 41, kept grinding away and seemed to turn the corner with a few promising starts, including a playoff defeat at the hands of Kevin Kisner at the Wyndham Championship, where Scott missed a short putt to win on the first playoff hole. How did he break out of his funk?

“In the down times,” Scott said, “I come to the realization it’s the only thing I know how to do, so I don’t have a lot of options outside of that and I’d better get my head back on and figure it out. I love doing it.”

The runner-up finish at the Wyndham, his 100th career top-10 finish on the PGA Tour, and a tie for fifth at the CJ Cup last month has renewed his hope that a 15th career Tour title is right around the corner, perhaps even this week at the RSM Classic. The tournament is played over two courses at the Sea Island Resort, and Scott is making his debut in this event.

The other key to Scott’s turnaround may be as simple as a tuneup to his Titleist TSi4 driver, which had been sending balls astray. He stuck with the same model, but adjusted the hosel mechanism to add .75-degrees of loft to obtain extra spin. It didn’t happen instantly, but he’s been finding fairways with regularity again.

“The driver for me is a sensitive area because I feel like I’m a good driver of the golf ball and when I drive it well, it kind of trickles through the rest of the game, the confidence and the freedoms and all those kind of things,” he said. “It’s amazing just how that calms you down, standing on a tee, and you stand on the tee more often in a confident state and I feel like golf isn’t as hard as it was earlier in the year.”

Scott is making his fourth start of the new season, more than he typically plays in the fall, and said he plans to play tournaments as part of the European Tour’s Middle East Swing in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before returning to the PGA Tour at the Genesis Invitational in February.

“I’m here to win some FedEx Cup points,” he said. “I’d love to win the tournament. I was close a few months back and I feel like my game generally is in a pretty good spot. I think it’s good enough to contend here this week and I’d like to make the most of that.”

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Check the yardage book: Sea Island's Seaside Course for the PGA Tour's RSM Classic