By Tony Jimenez
HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - World number one Adam Scott has left no stone unturned in the build-up to this week's British Open as he strives to make it third time lucky after two successive near-misses at golf's oldest major championship.
The Australian finished tied third behind winner Phil Mickelson at Muirfield 12 months ago but the real heartache came 12 months earlier when he let slip a four-shot lead with four holes to play to finish runner-up to Ernie Els at Royal Lytham.
Scott, who has played in a total of 14 British Opens, has been working diligently at Hoylake since last week and believes he will be like a well-oiled machine by the time he tees it up for real in Thursday's opening round.
"I am very much looking forward to trying to keep momentum from the last two years going," he told reporters. "There is nothing else on my mind right now other than executing this week.
"I'm playing some of the best golf of my life at the moment so I should really be taking advantage of it and stepping up and putting myself in with a good chance.
"I got up here on Thursday and I've played every day...with the idea of getting very comfortable and familiar with the course," said Scott who turns 34 on Wednesday.
"I got to come and play the Open championship course when it's closed...it's a real perk of the job."
Weather conditions are always tough to predict at seaside layouts at any time of the year in Britain and, sure enough, Scott has gone through the card since last week.
"I've played in some different wind directions over the last five or six days," he said.
"If it's windy and rainy it's going to be very difficult to play. If it just rains it's no big deal at all, in fact the course will get softer and probably play a little easier.
"The wind is a big defense for this course. If it's not windy, as soft as it is, we're going to have some good scores out here."
Scott is still waiting to add to the one major title he has under his belt from the 2013 U.S. Masters at Augusta.
He finished in a tie for eighth position the last time the Open was held at Hoylake in 2006 when Tiger Woods took advantage of a rock-hard course to beat fellow American Chris DiMarco by two strokes.
"We've got a completely different golf course that we're looking at this week," said Scott. "It's a completely different animal.
"I think the one thing we're all looking at is taking advantage of the par-fives," he added, conforming to the same plans laid out by Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose earlier in the day.
"If you're swinging well and you can get a driver on the fairway down the par-fives, they are almost par-fours."
(Editing by Tony Goodson)
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