The Open: Scott is keen to remove the ‘chip on my shoulder’ that he carries from Lytham
The Australian feels he has given himself a chance to claim the Claret Jug after moving up the leaderboard to seven under with a bogey-free, five-under-par 67 in the second round.
The 35-year-old admits he is still bothered by his failure to close out victory at Lytham three years ago, when he surrendered a four-shot lead by bogeying the last four holes.
He recovered to win the Masters in 2013 but, having also been in contention at Muirfield and Hoylake in the last two years, is still anxious to end his Open heartache.
Scott said: “I’m very motivated. I definitely let that one slip and I would love to be sitting here having won the Open.
“I’ve had a couple of good looks at it since then. I played really well last year and was just too far behind, and then at Muirfield I was leading on the back nine and (Phil) Mickelson finished great and I didn’t.
“I think I’m playing with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder.
“I tried to brush it off and I did see all the positives. I played so well and really it was the first time I’d ever kind of controlled the outcome of a major championship.
“But that really did hurt. I just wanted another crack at it.
“I probably carried that chip into the Masters and maybe it got a little bit smaller, but still I feel like I’ve been really close to lifting this trophy and I’m very motivated to do it this weekend now that I’m in this position. I’d be very disappointed if I never did it in my career when I have got so close.
“Getting into contention at this championship and having a chance to lift the Claret Jug is what it’s all about. This is a great position. I’m excited for my weekend.”
Scott is playing the Old Course this week alongside his old caddy Steve Williams, who has been lured out of retirement this summer.
Williams was on the bag when Scott won the Masters and is hoping some of the old magic might return.
Scott said: “It was the right call for me to make at this point in the year to get him back out and instil a bit of confidence in my game and get back in that flow.
“He’s a huge factor in the way I’ve played the last few years. I have to absolutely give him a lot of credit for that.”
Scott’s fellow Australian Steven Bowditch, a professional of some 13 years, admits rules are not his strong point after getting in a flap over a moving ball issue.
The 32-year-old, who shot a second-round 69 to sit five under for the tournament, pulled away from a putt on the 17th.
“Basically I forgot they changed the rule a year ago or two years ago that if the ball moves while your putter is down and it’s not caused by you, basically caused by the wind, it’s not a penalty,” he said.
“I had a mind blank. I went from making a pretty soft five to a really mad six to a felt-like-a-birdie five again.
“He (the rules official) just said there was no penalty and I felt like I just won the lotto.”
Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington is turning to Arnold Schwarzenegger for inspiration after posting his best round in six years at the event, but stopped short of declaring “I’ll be back”.
The Irishman, winner of back-to-back Claret Jugs at Carnoustie and Birkdale, carded a 69 to move to three under for the tournament.
Guaranteed of playing at the weekend, having missed the cut in three of his last five appearances, he said: “I won’t have to sit around and wait to see what the cut line is.
“I haven’t seen the new Terminator yet so I think that will be on the cards.”