An eagle on Sunday at the par-5 15th hole provided the catalyst to Adam Scott’s Australian PGA Championship in 2013 and the world No.18 hopes Thursday’s three at the same hole can deliver a similar result.
Describing his opening round as “pretty stress-free”, Scott’s 2-under 70 positions him three back of the round one leaders and with the prospect of ideal scoring conditions when he starts his second round at 6am on Friday morning.
Unlucky not to have picked up an extra shot when his putt at the par-3 fifth hole inexplicably hung over the lip without falling, Scott’s only real error of the day came when his tee shot at the 13th hole found the water to the right of the fairway.
That led to a double bogey to fall to even par for the day, two shots he quickly recovered when he rolled in a putt from just outside 15 feet at the 15th to better reflect on the scoreboard how he felt that he played.
“I was very happy with it,” was Scott’s immediate assessment.
“It wasn’t that easy out there. I seemed to get a lot of in-between numbers and when it’s windy here you have to be a little bit careful. You don’t want to be chipping short side around here, the grain is just too much to deal with.
“I wish I could have that swing on 13 over again, but all in all I feel good about my round.
“I needed to have a good finish. It was a day today where not playing well, you could be over par quite easily and leave yourself a lot of work to do to get into the tournament.
“A round like I ended up at 2-under leaves me in a great spot with hopefully light winds tomorrow morning to come out.”
While his fellow Presidents Cup teammate Cameron Smith struggled through fatigue on day one, Scott refocused his energies when he felt any such lull approaching.
A regular at Royal Pines since the tournament moved to the Gold Coast in 2013, Scott’s only on-course prep this week was an early morning pro-am on Wednesday alongside Greg Norman Medal winner Hannah Green and rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston.
“It’s always hard coming off the back of something very emotionally charged like last week,” Scott admitted.
“Even though we didn’t win, there was a lot going into it for four days.
“There were times out there I just reminded myself to really focus in and play hard because it was a little bit tricky out there.
“Some soft golf would not have been good this afternoon. I’m in a good spot to kind of take advantage of some good golf in the morning.
“Hopefully tomorrow I can have a pretty clean card and work my way up to kind of that pace that’s going to be needed to be in the hunt on the Sunday.”