SYDNEY – Adam Scott birdied his first six holes to shoot a course-record 10-under 62 at Royal Sydney on Thursday to take the lead at the Emirates Australian Open.
Scott broke the previous mark of 65 achieved by three players on the same day in 2008 and two previously. After Scott's opening birdie run, he parred the next eight holes before making birdie on his final four.
Scott is attempting to become the second golfer after Robert Allenby in 2005 to win all three Australian majors – the Australian Open, Australian PGA Championship and Talisker Australian Masters – in the same year.
"The longest putt I had on those opening birdies was about five feet," Scott said. "I hit a lot of quality shots right out of the blocks this morning."
He cannot recall starting any round with six birdies, thinking that he once had five in a row to start a round in Qatar. He finished his round Thursday with approach to nearly tap-in range on the ninth.
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"I'm off to a good start, but a lot of work to do yet," Scott added. "It's been a long time since I shot a low round like this. It's a tough set-up but it was a perfect morning for it."
Scott joked that since he started on the back nine with six birdies, then birdied his last four on the front nine, the scorecard will appear as if he had 10 consecutive birdies – "maybe as time goes by, I can embellish and say I had 10 in a row."
Scott won the Australian PGA Championship three weeks ago and Australian Masters two weeks ago before sharing the World Cup team trophy with Jason Day last week at Royal Melbourne. Day, who won the individual stroke-play at the World Cup, shot 70 on Thursday in Scott's group.
The previous golfers to have held the Royal Sydney record of 65 were all Australians: Chris Gaunt, Matt Goggin, Stephen Dartnall, Ewan Porter and Jason Norris.
Canadian Ryan Yip shot a 65 and was in second place. David McKenzie had a 66, while two-time champion Aaron Baddeley was in a group tied for fourth at 67.
"I like to see the ball running and that's what this course offers me," said Yip, a regular on the Canadian Tour.
Rory McIlroy opened with a 69 in his bid for his first win of the year. He made the turn at 2 under, bogeyed 11 and 12, but had three birdies in his final seven holes, including on No. 18.
American Kevin Streelman, who played with Matt Kuchar on the runner-up American team in last week's World Cup at Royal Melbourne, shot 70 playing in the same group as Scott and Jason Day.
Day, who won the individual stroke play at the World Cup, also shot 70.
Most of the best scores Thursday came in the morning groups as the wind picked up in the afternoon. Similar weather conditions are forecast for Friday, when Scott will play in the afternoon.