No bad blood between Scott, Els

March, 15, 2013
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Adam Scott's time between tournaments this week was spent helping out a friend, then accompanying him to Augusta National to get a sneak peek at the Masters venue.

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Adam Scott
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesEven though Adam Scott lost the Open Championship in July to eventual champion Ernie Els, the Australian and the South African remain close friends.

That the friend is Ernie Els should come as no surprise, given that the two golfers have been close for years.

Scott participated in the Els for Autism event on Monday at PGA National -- Els' son, Ben, is autistic -- then went with the Big Easy to get a look at Augusta National on Tuesday.

And that little matter of last year's Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's was never an issue.

Els, of course, captured the Claret Jug after Scott bogeyed the final four holes to lose by one. It was a crushing defeat for the Australian, albeit an uplifting win for Els, who had gone 10 years between major victories.

"I was very happy for Ernie," said Scott, who on Friday moved into contention at the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank. "I think he's an incredible talent and he's one of the best players I've seen on a golf course. I've played so much golf with him and seen him do such incredible things. I think he could have won 10 majors.

"So he paid his dues, and whether he won it or I helped him win it a little bit … it doesn't matter. He won it. Probably eased the pain a little bit that he was a close friend of mine. I could feel some happiness for him."

As for the trip to Augusta, it was just the two of them on a busy Tuesday with several other PGA Tour players and members on the course. The 77th Masters begins April 11.

"I thought it was in the best shape I've ever seen it this early in the year," said Scott, who tied for second at the Masters in 2011. "They must have had some nice warm days and cool nights, and a lot of grass seems to be growing. Sometimes it can be a little thin early on, but it looks great. It's Augusta. It's pretty much perfect."

Scott tied for third at the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Sunday after shooting a final-round 64. The Tampa Bay Championship is his final tournament before the Masters.