20 Aug 2022 | Professional golf |
Scott sole leader at BMW Championship
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
Adam Scott took the 36-hole lead for the first time in more than three years and enhanced his prospects of a FedEx Cup pay day on day two of the BMW Championship in Delaware.
Scott will take a one-stroke lead into the third round at Wilmington Country Club following a round of two-under 69 on Friday to be eight-under, one clear of Jordan Spieth (67), Scottie Scheffler (67), Corey Conners (67) and Cameron Young (69).
The margin could have been even greater if not for a double bogey at the par-4, a drive that finished behind a tree right of the fairway calling for a difficult recovery shot that Scott was unable to execute.
Despite finding the fairway bunker with his tee shot Scott two-putted from 18 feet at the final hole to close out his round, Spieth’s bogey at 18 handing the 2013 Masters champion sole possession of the lead for the first time since the 2019 Masters.
Chasing his first victory since the Genesis Invitational in February 2020, a win would also propel Scott from 45th to third in the FedEx Cup standings and right into contention for the $US18 million bounty given to the winner.
His top-five finish at last week’s FedEx St Jude Championship was Scott’s first since this year’s Genesis Invitational and gave the 42-year-old belief that how he felt he was playing was transferring into results.
“I felt like I’d been playing really well at Wyndham and Detroit and actually had a bit of a tough time on the greens, which I haven’t been for a long time,” Scott surmised.
“Just felt like it should all come together. I tried to stay calm and put it all together, and it happened in one way or another in Memphis.
“I got a bit of confidence out of that, out of just having a result, even a top five.
“It felt like a result rather than feeling pretty good about things and finishing 20th.”
Courtesy of an outward nine of three-under 32 and a fourth birdie at the 12th, Scott stood on the 17th tee with a three-stroke advantage.
His punch shot from behind the tree failed to progress past the rough, hacking his third out just short of the green.
He was unable to get up-and-down to make bogey, a timely reminder of how quickly the golf course can bite back heading into the weekend.
“Overall, I felt really in control today,” added Scott, who hit 64 per cent of fairways on Friday compared to just 29 per cent on Thursday.
“When you’re playing that way, it always could be a couple better, and a poor shot on 17 was quite costly.
“It’s a good reminder for the weekend that I’ve really got to keep it under control. I don’t want to have too many get off the map and get out of position around here.
“But I kept it in position really well all day and had so many good looks and was cruising there for a while.”
Cam Davis kept his hopes of progressing to the Tour Championship alive with a second round of four-under 67 highlighted by a an eagle and two birdies from the third hole.
Davis moved up 18 spots to a tie for sixth but even that wouldn’t quite be enough. Ranked 51st entering the tournament, a tie for sixth is projected to elevate Davis to 32nd in the FedEx Cup, two shy of qualifying for a spot at East Lake Golf Club next week.
Queensland’s Jake McLeod continues to show a return to form on the DP World Tour, tied for seventh at the halfway mark of the D+D Real Czech Masters in the Czech Republic.
Backing up from a bogey-free opening round of five-under 67, McLeod posted 68 on Friday to be five shots off the lead but endured a roller-coaster around the turn in doing so.
Starting his second round from the 10th tee, McLeod bogeyed the final three holes of his front nine to turn in even par, responding with four straight birdies from the first to claw his way back into contention.
Zach Murray (68, T27) is the next best of the Aussies, Maverick Antcliff and Jordan Zunic also advancing to the weekend.
Tied for 12th through 36 holes, Brad Kennedy remains in the hunt for a second Sega Sammy Cup title on the Japan Golf Tour, Jake Higginbottom (68, T11) leads the Aussie charge at the International Series Korea on the Asian Tour and Stuart Appleby (68) is tied for 10th after one round of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open on the Champions Tour.
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