‘Pretty good’ prep helps Scott tie for Day 1 lead
By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – On Tuesday morning, two days before the start of the 95th PGA Championship, Adam Scott said that he felt his best golf was ahead of him.
Just in case anyone doubted the Masters champion’s words, Scott went out and fired a 5-under 65 at Oak Hill Country Club on Thursday to take a share of the first-round lead with Jim Furyk.
“That’s probably the best run I've ever had and I just hit really nice shots and didn't leave myself too much work,” Scott said. “You have to take advantage of that if you are feeling that and I was through the turn there. It was a dream start after kind of a nervous first couple of holes.”
After a shaky first hole where he made an incredible par after chipping out of the trees because of an errant tee shot, Scott rolled off five consecutive birdies beginning on the fourth hole, en route to an outward nine of 5-under 30.
“There were a couple of highlights of the day for me,” he said. “Obviously a poor tee shot on one and in trouble right from the start to make a bit of a curler on the first to settle down is very nice.”
A rain delay that lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes seemed to be the only thing that could slow Scott down on Thursday – and even that didn’t do much. Scott and playing partners Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose were through 10 holes when play was halted. When play restarted, the trio faced the 226-yard, par-4 11th hole.
Scott misfired his tee shot with a 4-iron, but converted a magnificent up-and-down from the greenside rough to keep his flawless card intact.
“I don't think it cost me any shots,” Scott said. “I managed to have a good up and down on that 11th hole from left. You know, that settled me down again and got me back in rhythm.”
Scott picked up one more birdie at the short, 326-yard, par-4 14th hole, but gave the shot back at No. 16 with a three-putt bogey.
“It was disappointing to drop one, especially on 16, but that can happen on these tough courses,” he said. “It's hard to go bogey free.”
For good measure, Scott saved his best par of the day for the long finishing hole. After missing the fairway with his tee shot, Scott was forced to punch out back into the fairway and managed to get up and down to join Furyk at 5 under.
“After playing so well, I was starting to feel it slip coming in on the last three holes,” Scott said. “And then to make one on 18 and get something out of the round that I felt could have been special was a nice feeling. I did play very well today and it's always nice to have 65 to show for that.”
Prior to this week, Scott has finished in the top 10 in six of the last 11 majors played. Along with the Masters win in April, Scott has also had two runner-up finishes (the 2011 Masters and 2012 Open Championship) and a third-place showing a few weeks ago at the Open.
Based on results alone, one would have to think Scott is better prepared for major than ever before.
“I think I did a pretty good job of it,” Scott said. “I think the results are showing that I have got something figured out. I don't know if you ever have it all figured out. I like what I'm doing, so I am just going to keep doing it.”
It will be a quick turnaround after a long day for Scott. He tees off in the second round with Rose and Mickelson at 8:35 a.m. Friday.