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Adam Scott shifting emphasis to PGA Tour

Adam Scott will wind up his preparation for next month's Masters at Augusta National with three consecutive tournaments on the U.S. tour.

The Queenslander, who recorded a top-10 finish in the Masters at his first start last year, will play the Honda Classic at Palm Beach, Fla., the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, then the Players' Championship at Sawgrass in Florida before the Masters from April 10-13.

He has declined to defend his Qatar Masters title in the Middle East, and skipped the Dubai Desert Classic last week, along with a host of other major players headed by Tiger Woods.

Concerns over security were at the root of the mass withdrawal of international players, although Scott's manager, David Rollo, said the decision was taken some time ago and not so much out of security concerns but to streamline his personal schedule. ``Adam wants to play the three consecutive events in the States as a lead-up to the Masters, and it makes more sense than jumping all around the globe,'' Rollo said.

Scott's ground-breaking third place in the World Golf Championship's Match Play event in California two weeks ago earned him the biggest paycheck of his career.

More to the point, his joust with Tiger Woods in the semi-final on Saturday, taking the world No. 1 to the 19th hole, will have given Scott the confidence he needs to move forward from his fine 2002.

Scott played 35 tournaments last year and wants to trim that to 28 this year. He is still committed to the European Tour, where he will resume in May, although he has said he will eventually move his game to the U.S. Rollo said that move could come as early as 2004. But with the prize money from his third place finish, Scott gets a special temporary membership of the U.S. tour, meaning he has unlimited invitations for the rest of this year.

``I think Adam as an Australian is always going to be an `international' player but I think he'll be looking to the U.S. in 2004,'' Rollo said.

 

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