Scott dumps caddie ahead of US Open
SIX days after qualifying for the US Open, Adam Scott has a new caddie and an old coach.
Scott showed up at Shinnecock Hills on Monday (AEST) without David Clark, who has been exclusively on his bag for the last 18 months.
Scott said they parted ways after making it through the 36-hole sectional qualifier on Monday in Ohio.
Instead, he will use a caddie from Shinnecock Hills this week at the US Open. The caddie is Lenny Bummolo, and he's no stranger.
Scott has used him during casual rounds at Shinnecock Hills over the last five years, including one round in 2013 when Scott set the course record from the championship tees with a 63 (it was broken the next year by Kevin Stadler).
"Lenny has been here for so long. He knows the course so well, and the greens," Scott said.
"I really think it's a valuable move here this week for me stand there hit it where he says. He's going to be right more times than me."
Scott didn't offer a long explanation on why he split with Clark, except that it's part of the business.
"There's never good timing for these kinds of things," he said.
"The player- caddie relationship is an interesting one. I've had a few over the years.
"It's an intense work environment. It's a love-and-hate thing. It becomes a revolving door out there. Sometimes, I have to make selfish decisions."
As for the coach?
Brad Malone is also his brother-in-law, and while they had not been working together the last few years, Scott decided to bring him back.
"It's a recent thing, very recent," Scott said.
As recent as Sunday?
"As far as everybody is to know, yes," he said with a laugh.
"We've been communicating a little bit the last few weeks. I feel like it's a positive thing for my game."
If a caddie and coach were not enough changes for one week, Scott also played nine holes at Shinnecock Hills with a short putter.
But that's only temporary.
Scott said he would most likely stick with the broom-handle putter that he used to win the 2013 Masters.
"I'll putt with the long putter, I'm pretty sure," he said.
"I just don't like thinking about it too much. I pick both up and I putt good with both. I don't want to get stuck trying to be perfect."
Meanwhile, Scott believes US Open organisers have got the balance right with tweaks to the Shinnecock Hills layout ahead of this week's major.
The Australian knows the historic course well, as one of only 19 players returning who played the US Open here in 2004.
Shinnecock, with fairways averaging 26 yards wide for the 2004 US Open, subsequently underwent a restoration project which widened the fairways to about 65 yards and restored the angles and shot values architect William Flynn intended.
But after wide-open Erin Hills allowed for record US Open scoring last year - seven players finished at 10 under or better - the USGA decided to replace some 200,000 square feet of short grass with fescue to bring the fairways in to about 40 yards.
The last time Scott played the course was in October, just before the Presidents Cup, when the fairway shrinkage began.
"I played the day they were transplanting the fescue," he said.
"I saw that was going to happen. It's considerably wider and more generous off the tee than it was in '04. It's very fair off the tee. And it's very penal if you miss."
That's what the USGA hopes for, especially after criticism last year that Erin Hills was far too generous off the tee.
Brooks Koepka won at 16-under 272, matching the record to par at a US Open.