The Loop

How methodical was Adam Scott's warm-up routine before beginning his Masters defense? Very.

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- How do you warm up in defense of a Masters title?

Adam Scott took a methodical approach to his warm-up at the practice facility before his 10:41 a.m. tee time.


Adam Scott was all smiles after birdieing his first hole in his Masters defense.

Here's a breakdown of his regimen:

9:27 a.m.: Scott arrives at the practice green and sets up four sets of two tees, placed about 12 inches apart, on the putting green. It's his own little corner. No one goes close. Before he hits every putt, Scott uses the tees to make sure the length of his stance matches the distance between the tees.

Also before each putt, in addition to checking his alignment, Scott takes two fingers -- his pointer and middle finger -- and holds them in the air. One finger points at the hole, the other at the break. From there, he sets up and hits each putt. His instructor, brother-in-law Brad Malone, follows him closely offering a couple tips.

9:49 a.m.: A 20-minute putting session session ends as the defending champion walks over to the range to a steady stream of applause from those sitting in the stands behind the driving range. He acknowledges them with a quick tip of the hat, and mouths "thank you."

Here's where Scott's warm-up gets methodical: Scott hit 10 wedge shots to the flag at 75 yards. Then 10 more to back part of the closest green, about 90 yards away. All rapid fire. One approach nails the flagstick, drawing "Oohs" and "Ahs" from the crowd. Malone and Steve Williams stand behind him watching closely.

Scott grabs a new club then hits 10 shots to the green 150 yards away. After hitting his last two close, he takes off his glove and takes a sip of water. The glove goes right back on after a minute break, and it's back to business.

Scott hits 10 more shots to the 180-yard pin. And two in a row look like they settle five feet from the cup. The last of which gets a club twirl.

Hitting to the 210-yard target green Scott is the shakiest he's been all morning. The Aussie loses three shots quite a bit to the right, one of which ends up about 15 yards to the right of the green. Scott stares at the shot in confusion.

Scott straightens them out. Now's time for five shots, likely with a 3-iron, to about 230-240 yards, aiming in between the 180-yard and 210-yard greens.

The next move for Scott is grabbing his 3-wood, hitting five shots with that. Then seven more with his driver, aiming at the large fairway bunkers to the right of the range. His piercing tee shots draw muted awes of amazement from the stands.

Scott hands his driver to Williams, and walks over to the short-game area with his coach. This is the most spontaneous his warm-up got.

He dropped a bag of range balls at the front of the green, and hit 13 pitches to different targets. Often one shot was in the air before the next one settled. Every three shots would mean a new target.

After his 13th pitch, Scott dropped five shots into the nearest bunker. He hit his first three to the closest pin, and two more to a medium-range flag.

10:24 a.m.: With two extra balls laying by the green, Scott walks up to them and hits longer pitch shots to the back of the green. Then he hands his wedge to Williams, and starts heading out of the practice facility. He gives a smile or quiet "Thank you" to the fans offering him encouragement. He boards a golf cart, and heads to the first tee with 17 minutes to his tee time.

10:29 a.m.: Scott gets right to business on the putting green. Using the same stance check, followed by pointing with two fingers, Scott hits putts with as quick of an interval as possible.

Scott uses two balls to practice. He starts by hitting two short putts, then two long putts, followed by two short ones, varying the length each time. The only time he stops is to chat with good friend Ernie Els for about two minutes. It's all smiles. He does this six times, and hits a total of 14 putts. (He cleans two short ones up.)

After holing his final short putt, Scott gives a big handshake to his coach, then tells him: *"Let's do this, mate." *

10:41 a.m.: The same miss showing up for Scott on the range shows up on the first tee. His drive ends up to the right of the fairway bunker at the right of the first fairway.

Not to worry. Scott stiffs his approach, flighting it under the trees to the right, and birdies the first hole. That's the way to start.

Photo credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images