Scott relishing the pressure

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iol spt july31 Scott Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports World number one Adam Scott has become accustomed to looking over his shoulder at his closest challengers for the top spot. Photo by: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since he took over as world number one for the first time in May, Australian Adam Scott has become accustomed to looking over his shoulder at his closest challengers for the top spot while he competes in PGA Tour events.

This week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio is no different with either Rory McIlroy or Henrik Stenson capable of deposing him and Scott looks forward to the day when his position at the game's pinnacle is secure.

“I think every week I have played as number one it's been up for grabs pretty much,” the Australian told reporters on Wednesday at Firestone Country Club on the eve of the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event.

“That's just the way it is. It's all very close. If I beat everyone, then it's not up for grabs. I think anyone who's been in the position is feeling that.

“I'm going to push myself to try to play like the best player here this week and get that result, and then go into next week with that confidence.”

Next week's event is the last of the year's four majors, the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky

“I will probably have to do it again next week as well, even if I had a great result here,” smiled Scott, referring to the challenge of retaining top spot in the rankings. “It's been a fun run, and I've really enjoyed being number one.

“I'll just keep trying to hold on to it for as long as I can. It would be lovely to get to a point where I don't have to hold on to it, and I can have a week where I'm safe.”

Scott dethroned Tiger Woods atop the world rankings on May 18, despite not playing on the PGA Tour the previous week.

This week, however, he would surrender that spot if he finishes outside the top five at Firestone and second-ranked Northern Irishman McIlroy wins the title.

Scott would also be deposed if he finishes outside the top 40 and third-ranked Swede Stenson goes on to seal victory.

Yet the Australian oozed confidence on Wednesday as he reflected on a 2013-14 PGA Tour season highlighted by seven top-10s in 11 starts, including a playoff victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in May.

“My game's in good shape,” said Scott, who won his first major title at last year's Masters. “It's really come up to a nice level during the summer.

“I certainly would like to kind of get the result I'm hoping for this week. It would be great to do that moving into next week with the last major close.”

Scott, who clinched the 2011 Bridgestone Invitational title by four shots, is scheduled to tee off in Thursday's opening round with long-hitting American Bubba Watson, the reigning Masters champion. – Reuters


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