Adam Scott admitted he gave a serious thought as to whether he would leave the safety of a four-month lockdown in his beloved Australia before electing to compete in this week’s PGA Championship in San Francisco.
And while issues relating to the worldwide Coronavirus have taken a very sharp turn for the worst in the Australian State of Victoria, Scott sympathises with the likes of Irishman Padraig Harrington and the England duo of Lee Westwood and Eddie Pepperell who have turned down traveling to California due to fears over the global pandemic.
Scott, the first Australian to win the Masters, says the European trio cannot be ‘judged’ in choosing not to tee-up in the Golden Gate Bridge city.
“I feel for everybody in this situation. It’s a very difficult decision. Certainly international travel is very complicated at the moment, and I fully understand Lee and Padraig weighing up the decision of not coming here, and it’s a respectable decision. I don’t think anyone is in any position to judge their decision on that,” said Scott.
“As for my own decision. It was very difficult watching the news and trying to get information not being in the United States. There’s a lot of beat up in some of the news. It was dragging on so long, the kind of layoff, that it was almost like should we just call it a season.
“Once the majors were planned to go ahead, I really selfishly could have missed them. Back at the start of this interview I mentioned how the majors are so important to a player’s career, and that’s what I’m looking to do now, so I never really seriously considered skipping this week.”
Scott had been back home at his Sanctuary Cove abode on the Queensland Gold Coast since straight after the cancellation of the Players Championship in early March.
It was only in the last few weeks he chose to return, and not to his Bahamas residence, but to South Carolina where he and his wife and family chose to self-isolate at the Congaree Golf Club located just on the outskirts of Columbia.
“The club there was very generous and let us use the facility even though they’re closed at this time of year,” said Scott. “It also served a great purpose for isolating because we didn’t see anybody for a couple of weeks and did our isolation like we were meant to.
“But really that felt like how I prepared a lot for major championships in the past. I’ve used Albany in the Bahamas in the past, and although that community has grown a lot, you go back seven or eight years ago, it was just me practicing there, too, in the summer. Very little distraction. It felt very similar to what I’ve done.
“I arrived here early, which I often do for majors and play normally before the crowds, but still just to get those extra days here and come to grips with the course, I don’t feel like it’s been very different at all, actually.”
However, while Scott has returned to competition, events in the Australian state of Victoria has seen the State Government label the increase in COVID-19 cases a ‘State of Disaster’ with ‘dark-to-dawn’ curfews imposed and police charged with fining those who break the curfew.
Scott was also asked his reaction to the latest events back in Australia.
“What is happening in Victoria, yeah, it’s far from ideal,” said Scott.
“We’d tried to suppress the virus this entire time, and to have this outbreak is obviously going against what they’re trying to achieve down there. I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know those answers. Everywhere is struggling with it in one way or another.”
Scott has been drawn to contest the opening two rounds of the PGA Championship in the company of Bryson DeChambeau and Rickie Fowler.
And Scot is among five Australians in the San Francisco field including past PGA winner, Jason Day along with reigning Emirates Australian Open winner, Matt Jones and also Victorian Lucas Herbert brilliant winner in February’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic.