Scott ties Bay Hill course record, leads by four shots

Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:13pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Masters champion Adam Scott fired a 10-under-par 62 to tie the Bay Hill course record and grab the clubhouse lead in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Thursday.

Scott, in his final tournament before he defends his green jacket at the April 10-13 Masters, took advantage of his morning tee time at the Bay Hill course in Orlando.

Wielding his long putter like a magic wand, the Australian mixed two eagles with seven birdies and a bogey to match his career low round on the PGA Tour.

He led Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano by four strokes with half the field still on the course.

"I'm really thrilled with the start today," Scott, making his first Bay Hill start since 2009, told reporters. It's maybe a little surprising.

"I don't know where it came from but the putter certainly got hot today. Today was just one of those days where the hole was a like a bucket."

World number two Scott is regarded by many as the best driver in the game, but his short game proved just as good on Thursday as he pulled away from the field.

He drained putts from at least 20 feet on five occasions, including a 30-footer from off the green at the par-four 15th, where he threaded his ball between a couple of sprinkler heads.

Scott began his round at the 10th, and made a confidence-boosting start by sinking a 20-foot birdie right off the bat.   Continued...

Adam Scott of Australia celebrates sinking a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round in the 2013 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 14, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble