Composed: Adam Scott blasts out of a bunker at Royal Sydney on Saturday. Photo: Anthony Johnson
He has gone about his golf and dissected his game like a robot this week. Now, finally, with Adam Scott on the verge of the historic feat of winning all three Australian majors in one year, he has told us how he really feels. ''To have this opportunity is a bit unreal,'' said Scott, four shots ahead of his nearest rival, Rory McIlroy, heading into Sunday's final round at the Australian Open.
Golf's elusive triple crown is now Scott's to lose. Four clear of McIlroy, he is more than simply on the verge of taking all three; he is on the verge of blitzing everyone else in the process. Mark Calcavecchia's 19 under in 1988 - a record at Royal Sydney - is also in his sights.
Scott's four-under round of 68 on Saturday left him 16 under after three rounds - ahead of McIlroy and eight strokes ahead of the top-10 ranked pair's nearest rivals, Max McCardle, Matthew Jones and Richard Green.
''[Sunday] is a huge day for me,'' Scott said. ''It's an exciting position to be in. Obviously, a great chance to win my national championship, and then also win the three events down here, which is an unbelievable spot to be in.
''If you'd told me a month ago, I wouldn't have believed you. One round away but a lot can happen, and it's a phenomenon [McIlroy] behind me, playing as well. I'm sure he's going to throw plenty at me.''
Asked to explain why his run at home has been such a surprise, Scott said: ''Well, before this month started, I hadn't won two tournaments in a row - ever. There were no facts to back up that it would be a certainty that I would be sitting here in this position. To finish it off would be an incredible way to end the year.''
Scott has belted everything thrown at him so far, so it is difficult to see him letting this one slip. McIlroy challenged him on Saturday, yet Scott had the answers. The pair was locked in a gripping battle all day; Scott attempted to forge ahead, while McIlroy tried to stay as close to the world No. 2 as he could. Scott's birdie on 18 allowed him a little more breathing space, while McIlroy battled gamely after being two over for his round after five holes.
''I had to make mine,'' Scott said of his putt at the last. ''Because I believed he would make his. If it went the other way - I missed and he made it - it's two shots. That's nothing. That can be gone on the first green tomorrow.
''Four shots is a slightly better buffer. It doesn't mean it can't disappear quick, but it means they've got to do something.''
You sense that Scott is simply playing too well to lose. The US Masters champion has constantly spoken of the flaws in his game this week, but he looks in a very different class to the rest - even McIlroy for now.
''It wasn't the best of starts,'' McIlroy said. ''I just tried to stay as patient as possible. I feel like I left a couple out there on the back nine. I have obviously got a real tough job on my hands to try and catch Adam.''
It gets better for Scott, too. Not only would he win the triple crown of Australian majors in a calendar year with victory in Sunday's final round - equalling the feat by Robert Allenby in 2005 - he would actually go one better than Allenby. Allenby did not meet the minimum eligibility criteria for the PGA Tour of Australasia's Order of Merit in 2005; the money list was thus taken out by a youngster named Adam Scott that year. Scott cannot be beaten in the 2013 Order of Merit.
Whether he can be beaten on Sunday remains up to him as much to his competitors. One of those is Jason Day, who fired the equal-best round of the day, a six-under 66, to be six under so far. He remains 10 strokes behind Scott, whom he paired with to win the teams component of the World Cup last week.
''I'm just trying to be quiet about it,'' Day said. ''Hopefully, I can sneak up there. I just want to try and give myself a shot at it. It's a long shot, but if I can go out there tomorrow and they're not too far away, and I shoot a low one, maybe I can catch them.''