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Adam Scott at home in Scotland

Australia's Adam Scott has high hopes for this week's Scottish Open and the British Open which follows with both tournaments being played on courses where he feels completely at home.

The 24-year-old from Adelaide has relished Loch Lomond since competing there for the first time in 2000 while St Andrews, venue for next week's Open championship, he describes as "fantastic".

"I love this place," the world number seven told reporters at Loch Lomond on Tuesday as he prepared for his fifth Scottish Open. "It is one of my favourite venues and one of the first tournaments I ever played as a professional.

"I have played well here before, although I struggled the last time I was here with my putting."

Scott, who turned professional in 2000 after a glittering amateur career, finished 12th when he made his debut at Loch Lomond later that year.

He tied for third in the 2001 Scottish Open, after opening with a 65, but missed the cut in 2002 and 2003.

He is back this week believing it offers him the best preparation for the third major championship of the season.

"It is a great field and a great course and this is what I base my schedule around, trying to play against the best field around and to go to good golf courses for a real test."

Tipped by many as a future world number one, Scott is one of eight players in the game's top 20 at Loch Lomond.

World number three Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson (four), Retief Goosen (five), Britain's Luke Donald (13), Argentina's Angel Cabrera (15), Darren Clarke (17) and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez (20) are also in the field.

Scott, who has not played since tying for 28th at last month's U.S. Open, is ready to raise his game a notch or two at the big events after establishing himself in the top flight.

"I feel I am playing well and I have high hopes for this week and next week," he said. "My game and my state of mind are very positive. It's just a case of putting it into practice on the golf course.

"I have a pretty ordinary record in the majors but I haven't gone into them playing well in the past," added the Australian, who has produced just two top-10 finishes in 17 major starts.

"Going into those tough golf courses not playing well, you have no chance because you can't get shots back easily.

"But now I feel am in a position to plan my schedule to give myself the best chance going into a major playing well."

Scott, who clinched the biggest title of his career at last year's Players Championship, an event widely regarded as the 'fifth major', is looking forward to the British Open.

"I love playing links golf and I have played in four or five Dunhill Links Championships at St Andrews," he said.

"I know there will be more pressure because it is the Open but I feel very comfortable playing there."

 

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