Friday, 21 March 2014 | MYT 4:06 PM
Scott matches Bay Hill record with sizzling 62
Australia’s Adam Scott takes a shot during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando on Thursday. — AFP
MIAMI: Reigning US Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia matched the Bay Hill course record with a 10-under 62 to seize command at the US PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational.
World No. 2 Scott, hot on the heels of top-ranked Tiger Woods just three weeks before defending his Masters crown at Augusta National, fired seven birdies, two eagles and a bogey on Thursday.
That was level for the course record set by American Andy Bean in 1981 and matched by Aussie Greg Norman in 1984.
“Today (Thursday) was just one of those days where the hole was a bit like a bucket,” Scott said.
Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and American John Merrick shared second on 65, one stroke in front of Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
With uncanny long-range putting that saw him sink five from beyond 20 feet, Scott produced the best opening round in Bay Hill history, two strokes better than the prior mark that was achieved 11 times, the first of them by tournament namesake Palmer himself in 1970.
“It’s maybe a little surprising,” Scott said. “I don’t know where it came from but the putter certainly got hot.”
And Scott had not played at Bay Hill since 2009, when he missed the cut.
“I just had a few frustrating years here and left it off the schedule,” Scott said. “Coming back here fresh was obviously a good thing.”
Scott, 33, last opened an event with a 62 at the 2011 World Golf Championships event at Firestone Country Club, where he won by four shots. — AFP