By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Masters champion Adam Scott is shaking off the rust after a break following his triumphant return to Australia and a trip to Hawaii, while plotting some special moments back in Augusta.
Scott, who became the first Australian to win the green jacket when he beat Argentina's Angel Cabrera in a thrilling playoff last April, said on Tuesday he was gearing up for next week's Honda Classic and zeroing in on his menu for the Champions' Dinner and details of his return to Augusta National.
"I'd like to serve something that everyone will really enjoy, and nothing too crazy so that they won't," Scott said about the annual dinner for former Masters champions during tournament week in a conference call with reporters.
"But probably, no surprise to anyone, there's definitely going to be an Australian theme toward every part of the dinner and whether that means they are eating kangaroo, I'm not sure yet, but we'll see."
Scott got a splendid taste of Australia when he was treated to a hero's welcome on his return following the Masters triumph.
Huge crowds thronged the courses as he won the Australian PGA and the Australian Masters and helped the country lift the trophy at the World Cup of Golf. He also finished second, one shot back of Rory McIlroy in the Australian Open.
"I was completely overwhelmed with the response to all the golf tournaments I played down there," said Scott, 33. "The turnout, the crowds, the support, was just so pleasing to see how well it was all received."
He went from there to Hawaii, where he registered a pair of top 10s before heading to his home-base in the Bahamas to relax and slowly ramp up preparations for his return to the tour after a six-week hiatus.
"It's hard, when you're playing well like I was in Australia and even in Hawaii, you don't really want to take some time off. You want to keep it rolling," he said. "You see a guy like Jimmy Walker out there who is hot and he's taking advantage of it, and that's what you want to do.
"But I'm also keeping the big picture in mind and my priorities are the Masters and the other three majors later this year, and I think the break was necessary, even though I was playing well."
Scott said fulfilling a lifelong dream of winning the Masters was all he had imagined.
"Waking up, Monday, having the green jacket just by the bed or the closet or something, is a year that you'll never forget. I think it's quite incredible," he said. "Seeing people's reactions to seeing the green jacket in your house has been a lot of fun for me."
Sharing the joy with his family made it even more special.
"Being able to share the experience of winning with my dad overall was the biggest thing. His whole life has been golf and it was incredible he was there, but also to share some time at home at length and talk about it.
"I think they are the nice things. The other stuff, all the glitz and some of that, is fun I guess, but the stuff that really is meaningful is something like that, because my mom and dad gave up so much for me to pursue golf."
Scott said he would arrange a trip to Augusta ahead of tournament week as in previous years and might bring a special guest with him.
"I think it would be fun to go up with someone and kind of take it all in, but also I've got to focus and take it all in the right way, as well," he said. "It's going to be hard. I'll probably need two days. I need a day to get my head right and get over the sentimental stuff, and then a day of work."
Scott said he hoped his father, who was a golf club maker and now designs courses, would make the trip with him.
"He's never played (Augusta), so love to have him play and hopefully we can get that in before Masters week."
When Scott returns the treasured green jacket to his clubhouse berth at Augusta it will have been well worn.
Asked how often he tries the jacket on in front of the mirror, Scott said: "Well, when I get to Augusta, it will be about 365 times I reckon."
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Gene Cherry)