Struggling Scott aims for Byron Nelson inspiration

IRVING, Texas (Reuters) - Although frustrated after missing the cut in his last five PGA Tour events, Australian Adam Scott returns to a happy hunting ground for his title defence at this week's Byron Nelson Championship.

A year ago, Scott won the tournament by holing a monster birdie putt from 48 feet to edge out American Ryan Moore at the third extra hole and he hopes to regain form at a venue he has always enjoyed.

"I'm pretty excited to play here this week," the 28-year-old told reporters before playing a practice round at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas.

"It's a course where I've played well and I'm just going back out there with some good memories.

"I really don't feel like my game is that far away. I just need to go out there and put some numbers on the board to show that.

"It was disappointing to miss the cut at the Masters and the Players by just one shot because I didn't play all that badly," said Scott, whose world ranking has slipped to 32nd from a career-high third.

"I really felt like I needed to get some more rounds under my belt and missing the cut doesn't get that accomplished. It's a good feeling to come back to a place you've played well at."


Scott clinched his sixth PGA Tour title at last year's Byron Nelson Championship but struggled for much of an injury-plagued 2008 campaign.

He battled recurring tonsillitis before ending the year with a knee injury that sidelined him from the Australian Open.

Although he gave himself a confidence boost by tying for second at the Sony Open in January after closing with a sparkling 64, his ball-striking this season has fallen short of his usually high standards.

"It hasn't been as good or as consistent as it was," Scott said. "I just got into some bad habits that I'm having a hard time getting out of. My swing got off plane a little bit.

"But I've been practising and working on all the stuff I've been trying to do with my golf swing in all areas of the game this year. Hopefully it all falls into place and I can put some good rounds together this week."

World number two and 1996 champion Phil Mickelson heads the field at this week's event where three other members of the top 20 are taking part -- Fijian Vijay Singh (ninth), American Anthony Kim (15th) and Britain's Ian Poulter (18th).

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; editing by Pritha Sarkar;

Article Published: 19/05/2009