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Adam Scott savors return to action

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Adam Scott makes his first tournament appearance since winning the Masters at this week's Players Championship, still reveling in his victory and hoping to regain the focus that helped him win his first major championship.

Scott, 32, captured the Masters in a sudden-death playoff last month over Angel Cabrera, becoming the first Australian to win the covered green jacket.

"I was floating around the clouds the last three weeks," Scott said Wednesday at the TPC Sawgrass. "It's been an overwhelming time for me, especially in the immediate period after winning the Masters. Just so many people reached out to me, I was blown away.

"That comes from everywhere, especially Australia, but over here as well, other players, media, everyone. It was incredible."

Scott, who has a residence in the Bahamas, was a popular winner, especially after his close call at the Open Championship last summer, where he led by four strokes with four holes to play but ultimately bogeyed each of the last four holes at Royal Lytham to lose by a stroke to Ernie Els.

That was a crushing defeat for Scott, who won the Players Championship in 2004 but had mostly struggled in the game's biggest events.

"But it was a motivator," Scott said. "I felt I'd never swung the club as good as I did at the Open, and it was a chance for me to go out and the PGA (Championship) and right the wrong of Lytham. So I used it as a motivator.

"This (the Masters), I think is a motivator, too, but I'm finding it a bit harder to put the two together because of the elation and the sense of achievement for me, and the overall response to winning.

"Hopefully come tomorrow morning I'll be able to plant my feet on the ground and keep this going because it could be the start of a great year for me out here on the tour."

Scott, who is ranked third in the world, will play with No. 2 Rory McIlroy and Steve Stricker during the first two rounds at the Players Championship. They tee off at 8:39 a.m. on Thursday.