Adam Scott has his sights set on the Masters.
Adam Scott has his sights set on the Masters. Lynne Sladky

Scott ready for return bout with 'bully'

ADAM Scott believes standing up to a course that has bullied him in previous years is a much-needed test four weeks out from the Masters.

World No.58 Scott is among six Australians in the field at the US PGA Tour's Valspar Championship but none have enjoyed particularly good results at the event near Tampa, Florida.

With John Senden (2014) the only Australian winner at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead course, this week won't be any easier as the tournament boasts its strongest field in years.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth joins fellow big guns Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia, while Tiger Woods makes his Valspar debut after contending at the recent Honda Classic.

Adam Scott expects the tough Innisbrook Resort layout to test his game.
Adam Scott expects the tough Innisbrook Resort layout to test his game. Lynne Sladky

Scott dropped the event from his schedule after missing the cut in 2015, having failed to register a top 25 in six visits.

"It's been a few years since I was there. I like the golf course, even though I haven't had particularly good results on it but that will be my challenge this week,” Scott said.

Inspired by a gutsy tie for 13th at the recent Honda Classic, Scott welcomes the tree-lined, narrow fairways at Innisbrook.

The former Masters winner said the narrow fairways at Innisbrook would provide a thorough examination of his game before next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, his last tournament before Augusta National.

Adam Scott is part of a strong field playing the Valspar Championship.
Adam Scott is part of a strong field playing the Valspar Championship. Chris O'Meara

"It's a very strategic course and it will be a good discipline test to see if I can play within myself; hit irons off certain tees and play for positions on the greens,” Scott said.

"That focus you need at the majors, to always make the right decisions, will be tested too.”

Fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith will also have his mind on the Masters, with the Valspar kicking off a run of three consecutive tournaments.

Cameron Smith is one of six Australians playing this week.
Cameron Smith is one of six Australians playing this week. FAZRY ISMAIL

Ranked No.52 in the world, the 24-year-old will need a trio of hot results to sneak inside the top 50 before March 26 to secure an invitation to the year's first major.

But the in-form Smith is confident of securing a second career Masters berth, having recorded nine top 20s from his past 10 starts worldwide, including a tie for sixth in Los Angeles recently.

Rounding out the Australian contingent at Innisbrook is Greg Chalmers, who tied fourth in 2013, as well as Aaron Baddeley, Geoff Ogilvy and Rod Pampling.


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