Scott fights flu to grab three-shot Bay Hill lead

Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:35pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - Masters champion Adam Scott climbed out of his sick bed and into a three-shot lead after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida on Thursday.

Scott felt lousy all night, but his decision to play proved a good one as he carded a majestic 10-under-par 62 that tied the course record at Bay Hill.

"I was up with the doctors this morning, a bit fluey and pretty lethargic," he told Golf Channel. "I think getting out in the fresh air was good for me and moving around a little bit rather than feeling sorry for myself in bed."

Nobody came close to matching Scott, with young Japanese standout Ryo Ishikawa and American John Merrick best of the rest, shooting 65 in the afternoon.

World number two Scott is regarded by many as the best driver in the game and he took advantage of his length and accuracy off the tee to demolish the four par-fives, which he negotiated in six under en route to the first 62 at Bay Hill since his boyhood idol Greg Norman three decades ago.

It was a career low round on the PGA Tour for Scott, though he shot 61 at the 2008 Qatar Masters on the European Tour.

The Australian also wielded his long putter like a magic wand in his final tournament before he defends his green jacket at the April 10-13 Masters, needing just 23 putts as he mixed two eagles with seven birdies and a bogey in ideal morning conditions.

"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 like a bucket.   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