Scott, Kaymer ready to pounce in absence of McIlroy in Shanghai

Wed Nov 5, 2014 8:18pm EST
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By Andrew Both

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - World number two Adam Scott is ready to take advantage of the absence of Rory McIlroy at the $8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions tournament starting here on Thursday.

Australian Scott is part of a stellar field that includes 40 of the top 50 players in the world at the only World Golf Championships event played outside the United States.

The 2013 Masters champion has only played once since the American season ended in mid-September, a jetlagged tie for 38th at the Japan Open last month which followed a surfing holiday in Costa Rica.

But after a week of dedicated practice back home in Queensland last week, Scott is raring to go again.

He acknowledges that McIlroy's late withdrawal -- to prepare for a court case over a dispute with his former management company -- is a blow to the event, but understands that every player has to deal with off-course issues from time to time.

After all, Scott himself skipped this event last year to recharge his batteries for a busy end-of-year campaign in Australia.

"I know HSBC and everyone involved understands that's the way this game is," Scott told reporters at Sheshan on Wednesday.

Scott, who was surpassed at the top of the world rankings by McIlroy in early August, acknowledges that his chances of victory are helped without the presence of the Northern Irishman.   Continued...

European Ryder Cup player Martin Kaymer celebrates his putt to halve the first hole during the 40th Ryder Cup singles matches at Gleneagles in Scotland September 28, 2014.   REUTERS/Phil Noble