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Contending is not enough for title hungry Scott

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOUISVILLE Kentucky (Reuters) - It has been a case of so close and yet so far for Adam Scott this year as he has, for the most part, produced "really solid golf" without being rewarded with tournament wins.

The Australian, who lost his world number one ranking to Rory McIlroy after last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio, has triumphed just once on the 2013-14 PGA Tour while racking up eight top-10s in 12 starts.

"My game is generally in good shape," Scott told reporters at Valhalla Golf Club on Tuesday ahead of this week's PGA Championship, the final major of the season.

"I wished I could have played a little better last week. I got to test my short game a little more than I would have liked, but it seemed to be up to the challenge, which is good.

"I think my swing is falling into a nice kind of rhythm here the last couple of days, so I'm excited for this week."

Scott, who tied for eighth at Firestone Country Club on Sunday as Northern Irishman McIlroy triumphed by two shots, has been generally happy with his form this year.

"I've been playing really solid golf this summer and not really got the result I want, which is a win," said the 34-year-old. "I just have to really put my head down and push through this week.

"Hopefully all aspects of my game are kind of firing, and they will need to be. A lot of the other players are playing some really great golf this summer, and ultimately it will come down to who makes the most putts.

"We've seen the last couple of majors, and even the last couple of events, guys really putting their foot down and shooting some good scores, and if you're behind in a major, it's even harder to come back. It doesn't happen very often."

PERENNIAL CONTENDER

Scott claimed his first major championship crown at the 2013 Masters and ever since has been a perennial contender in golf's blue riband events, recording four top-10s in his last six starts.

However simply contending is not enough for the Australian world number two who has set his sights on piling up as many majors wins as he can while in his golfing prime.

"At some point you just have to look for wins, and that's only what's going to satisfy me," said the Australian, who clinched his 11th PGA Tour title at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in May.

"I've had lots of good finishes in majors, but I left the (British) Open extremely disappointed."

Scott tied for fifth in last month's British Open at Royal Liverpool, where the in-form McIlroy completed a wire-to-wire victory.

"I felt I played really well and I finished fifth, and there are lots of good things to take from that," said Scott.

"But I still didn't get to lift the trophy, and that's at the end of the day why I'm working hard and putting in so much. I would like to get the result."

Scott, who tied for fifth in last year's PGA Championship at Oak Hill, loves the way the par-71 layout at Valhalla has been set up for this week.

"We are spoiled every time we show up at the PGA ... it's like they have rolled the carpet out for a fairway," he said. "It's in great shape, and pretty conducive to good scoring this week.

"It's generous off the tee and quite demanding into the greens. If you can hit good, solid shots in the right areas on the greens, you're going to have a good chance at making some birdies this week, possibly some eagles out there, too."

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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