04 Aug 2023 | Professional golf |

Scott shoots 65 to keep playoff hopes alive

by Tony Webeck

Adam Scott Wyndham Championship Round 1
Adam Scott shot 65 on day one of the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. Photo: Logan Whitton/Getty Images

Adam Scott defied an early bogey and driving rain to keep his FedEx Cup Playoffs push alive at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.

Back at Sedgefield Country Club where he lost in a playoff two years ago, Scott hit back after dropping a shot on his second hole – the par-4 11th – with back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 to get into red figures.

He picked up further birdies at 15, 17, three, five and eight, his second and final bogey coming at the final hole of his round of 5-under 65.

That impressive opening salvo puts Scott in a tie for fifth and three shots back of American Russell Henley and within sight of the tie for ninth needed to extend his unbeaten streak of FedEx Cup qualification.

“The greens are pretty demanding,” offered Scott, who in his current position is projected to move from No.81 in the FedEx Cup rankings up to No.68.

“There’s a lot of break on putts and when you’re seeing a few go in, you can really make up for any other errors in the game and I think that’s what I did today.

“Hopefully get off to a good start tomorrow and keep the momentum going. I think that’s going to be the important thing for me the next couple days, to keep it rolling and give myself a good look at it on Sunday.

“I’ve had a lot of years having a go at the FedEx Cup Playoffs and all these kind of things come to an end at some point.

“I want to win this tournament and if I do that, I can have a really good run right through to East Lake (for the Tour Championship), I believe.”

A round of 2-under 68 has Sydney’s Cam Davis walking the FedEx Cup tightrope, his tie for 35th at present putting him in 69th position and just inside the top-70 cut-off.

Another Aussie Scotty is also well placed after Round 1 of the Asian Tour’s Mandiri Indonesia Open.

Just 12 days out from his 50th birthday, Hend used a round of 7-under 65 at Pondok Indah Golf Course to sit in a tie for second just one stroke off the lead, showing some of the young ‘uns just how it’s done.

“It’s really no difference, is it? I’m still fit, I think I’m fitter than a lot of the young guys out here,” Hend said of his approaching milestone.

“I intend to play golf for a long time and hopefully they keep seeing me in the rearview mirror catching them.”

Veteran Sarah Kemp is the best of the Aussies at the FREED Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, Kemp’s 3-under 69 putting her in a tie for sixth and five back of Japan’s Hinako Shibuno (64).

Stephanie Kyriacou (76), Karis Davidson (78) and Minjee Lee (80) need something special in Round 2 to make the cut.

Gabi Ruffels (70) is tied for 11th after the opening round of the Epson Tour French Lick Charity Classic and brother Ryan (70) leads the way for the Aussies at the British Challenge on the Challenge Tour, tied for 19th but just four strokes off the lead.

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