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Masters champion Scott targets major 'slam'

International team member Adam Scott of Australia hits of the 4th tee in his match against Bill Haas of the U.S. during the Singles matches
International team member Adam Scott of Australia hits of the 4th tee in his match against Bill Haas of the U.S. during the Singles matches

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's Adam Scott has set a goal of winning a career grand slam of golf's four majors and says his breakthrough U.S. Masters win is yet to pay full dividend to his game.

"I'd love to win the career grand slam and put myself in that really small group of players who have won all four majors," the 33-year-old told reporters at Australia's Gold Coast on Wednesday, his first trip to his homeland since his Augusta triumph.

"I think that would be a good goal but that's a long way off for the moment. I've only got one, so there's a lot of work to do."

Only South African Gary Player and Americans Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen have achieved the feat since the Masters was founded in 1934.

Having enjoyed the best year of his career with two PGA Tour titles, few would dispute the world number two has the game to win more majors.

Scott infamously blew a four-stroke lead in the last four holes of the 2012 British Open to finish runner-up. The U.S. Open is the only major tournament not to yield a top-10 finish for the Australian.

In the meantime, Scott has turned his attention to the far more achievable goal of clinching a career grand slam in the three marquee events of Australia's golfing summer.

Having won his country's national Open title in 2009 and the Australian Masters last year, Scott will bid to win the Australian PGA Championship trophy at Royal Pines starting on Thursday.

LESS PRESSURE

Like his mentor and former world number one Greg Norman, Scott has been a solid supporter of Australia's battling local tour throughout his career, but returns this time for a lap of honor and without the major milestone around his neck.

"I think all the great things that come from winning the Masters are still yet to happen for me as a golfer personally," said Scott, who showed off the green jacket at a sponsor's dinner on Tuesday.

"Knowing I'm going back there for the next, hopefully, 50 years or something, being involved with that golf club and that golf tournament for that amount of time and going to the champions' dinner, there may be a little less pressure on me to play great down here.

"I feel good with where my game is at.

"But (there's) just a little less to prove after having won a major and maybe shown the 'mongrel' or whatever it was that everyone wanted to see in me," Scott added, using the classic Australian term meaning 'toughness' or 'aggression'.

Scott was to receive the keys to the city from the Gold Coast mayor on Wednesday and tournament organizers have deemed Friday 'Green Day', asking fans to turn up in green in tribute to the Australian's Augusta win.

With world number nine American Brandt Snedeker, the tournament's second biggest draw card, a late withdrawal due to a knee injury, Scott has a clear run to tear up the innocuous Royal Pines course where young American Rickie Fowler, ranked 43rd in the world, is among the challengers.

Scott's headlining is a boost for the tournament after it was forced to move from its long-time venue in Queensland state's Sunshine Coast after last year's edition.

Organisers fell out with Clive Palmer, the billionaire owner of the resort in Coolum and recently elected parliamentarian, after he had mammoth replica dinosaurs erected throughout the course.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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