Adam Scott first visited Bay Hill Club in 2001 when he was just 20 years old and received a sponsor's exemption. He'll never forget his first meeting with Arnold Palmer.
"I walked off the first green, and he was sitting in the cart behind the green greeting some of the players," Scott recalled with a broad smile. "And he came over to me and he said, 'Adam, it's great to have you here.' I couldn't even believe he knew who I was."
The soft-spoken Australian native is slightly better known now - around the world. After a four-year absence, Scott has returned to the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, and he comes in a favorite as the No. 2 player in the world. Oh, and he's also the reigning Masters champion. after becoming the first Aussie to win a green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.
"It's good to come back. I've watched the tournament over the last couple of years and also seen some changes going on the course, so I thought it was time to come back and have a crack at it," Scott, 33, said Wednesday at Bay Hill Club. "I think it's a course that suits me. And I've got someone on the bag this week with plenty of experience around here."
Scott's caddie is Steve Williams, who used to caddie for Tiger Woods, winner of eight titles on Bay Hill's Championship Course.
A tie for third place in 2004 is Scott's best finish here, but he missed the cut in his last two starts. With the Masters approaching, he's hoping to sharpen his game.
"I'm expecting to put myself in the mix and try to get myself into some pretty good form heading into the next month."
After a breakout 2013 season in which he won his first major title and four other tournaments, Scott arrives at Bay Hill with four top-25s in as many starts, so his form is close to top-notch. He hopes this week is a confidence builder before he returns to Augusta.
"Hopefully, I'm going to make a few birdies," he said. "I think I'm coming in here to make a few birdies and kind of get the confidence up a little bit, see a few go in the hole.
"I'm just trying to get through this week. I'd like to see my game work into a bit of shape and then I think it will be exciting for me going [to Augusta] feeling like I'm playing pretty good. It's always nice to have a little bit of momentum."