Adam Scott has spent the past week studying every inch of British Open venue Royal Portrush in an effort to find the gear he has been missing in major contention recently.
Scott has been Australia’s form player at the majors, giving himself varying chances to win the past five going back to last year’s British Open.
Notably, the former world No.1 finished third at last year’s US PGA Championship and shared the 36-hole lead at this year’s Masters.
After top-eight results at the recent PGA Championship and US Open, Scott is desperate to add an elusive second major title to his 2013 Masters win.
“Every major lately I have needed that last piece of the puzzle and I want to put my finger on what that is ,” Scott told AAP from the UK.
Scott’s determination to avoid being a one-major wonder is the reason he arrived at Portrush last Friday – two weeks before the course hosts Northern Ireland’s first British Open in 68 years.
The Queenslander typically arrives at Open venues weeks in advance, a ritual that has reaped rewards.
Scott contended in every Open between 2012 and 2015, holding at least a share of the back-nine lead on Sunday in three of those.
But he failed to win the Open’s coveted Claret Jug.
“I had a run for four years when I felt I was going to win the thing. I’d like to get those feelings going again,” Scott said.
There is a huge level of comfort; since 2010 I’ve played links golf really well and I feel my formula has worked.”
Scott’s countryman Jason Day is also expecting to be a factor in Northern Ireland, having recently hired accomplished caddie Steve Williams.
Day has recorded just one top-10 from three events with Williams on the bag.
But his long-time coach, Colin Swatton, expects the pair to lift for what will be their second major together.
“The more events you play together, the more comfortable you become and I definitely think expectations will be raised for the Open,” Swatton said.
Day has improved his ball-striking significantly, hitting 78 per cent of fairways and greens in regulation during last week’s 3M Open in Minnesota.
But his usually world-class short game and putting have been poor and he will need to rediscover both to contend at the UK major.
“I’m optimistic Jason will contend,” Swatton said.
“If he gets on the favourable side of the draw, has a decent ball striking week and makes a few putts, then I’d expect him to be in the mix come Sunday.”
Australia’s contingent for the Open currently stands at a very lean six players.
But there are three British Open spots on offer at this week’s Scottish Open and one available at the John Deere Classic in the US.
Joining Day and Scott at Portrush will be world No.23 Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, as well as Dimi Papadatos and Jake McLeod.
Papadatos and McLeod qualified for their major debuts courtesy of finishing in the top three at last year’s Australian Open in Sydney, part of the British Open qualifying series.