Patient Scott shares Australian Masters lead, Kuchar lurks

Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:12am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Defending champion Adam Scott was patience personified as he grafted to a share of the lead at the Australian Masters, while American Matt Kuchar moved quietly into contention after the second round on Friday.

U.S. Masters champion Scott was rock-solid on another blustery day at Royal Melbourne, shooting a flawless five-under 66 for a nine-under total of 133 and a one-shot lead with local surprise package Nathan Holman.

Although sublime off tee and fairway, and enjoying a perfect start with three straight birdies, Scott had to grind his way through a frustrating run of 11 straight pars before picking up strokes on the 15th and 17th.

"I was hoping it was going to be one of those days," Scott told reporters after burning the cups on at least half a dozen holes.

"But it definitely cooled off... It kind of feels like I plodded along. It wasn't an exciting five-under at all."

Flanked by huge galleries and enjoying a purple patch of form, the 33-year-old's bogey-free round kept his title defense on track and his bid to sweep Australia's three marquee tournaments alive ahead of the national Open in Sydney.

Along with Holman, Scott, who won the Australian PGA Championship in the Gold Coast last week, sit a stroke ahead of overnight leader Nick Cullen and fellow Australian Matt Griffin on eight-under.

World number eight Kuchar, warming up for his title defense for the United States at the World Cup of Golf at the same course next week, was alone in fifth place after carding a 66 set up by a blistering front nine.   Continued...

Adam Scott of Australia hits from the sand on the 14th hole during his match against Bill Haas of the U.S. during the Singles matches for the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes