30 Jul 2022 | Professional golf |

Scott surges in hope of win

by Australian Golf Media

Adam Scott Rocket Mortgage image
Adam Scott drives during his second round today. Photo: Getty

By Tony Webeck

Adam Scott is hopeful a change in his driver set-up will lead to a drought-breaking win after surging into contention at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Winless since his Genesis Open victory in February 2020, Scott’s past two starts have garnered top-15 finishes at both the US Open and The Open Championship.

It was following his tie for 14th at Bellerive Country Club that Scott made an adjustment to the lie angle of his TaylorMade Stealth driver that he has had in the bag since THE PLAYERS Championship in March.

Knowing that hitting more up on the ball is the accepted method for more distance, Scott opted for an angle of attack that is more down on the ball as a way of improving his accuracy.

The firm and fast fairways of St Andrews did little to inhibit the distance he hit the ball and finding the short grass at Detroit Golf Club has delivered rounds of 69-66 to be in a share of seventh through 36 holes.

Scott went bogey-free in his round of six-under 66 on Friday and made birdie at all of the par 5s to be six shots back of Canada’s Taylor Pendrith.

“Yesterday was for sure the best I've driven it for a couple of years maybe and that felt good, and I drove it well again today,” Scott said.

“When I started practicing a week or so after the US Open I made a conscious effort to change that because although my play is OK, generally I think if a couple of errant drives a day was costing me the chance of shooting rounds like today or even the good rounds I played at The Open at St Andrews.

“Just bringing the ball a little more under control. I don't feel like I've sacrificed any distance – even though we all think you've got to launch it high to hit it far – but it's helpful when you play St Andrews to do that because it runs.

“I didn't feel like I was sacrificing too much, but I've certainly hit more fairways and feel like I'm going to.”

Scott has spoken openly about the difficulty he has faced producing his best golf during COVID.

Balancing family life with the travel restrictions has pulled him in two different directions yet as he approaches a year since losing in a playoff at the Wyndham Championship, the 42-year-old feels a win is not far away.

“The last couple years has been a bit of a blur to me,” Scott admitted.

“I don't know if it feels long or just a wash, but it was a year ago next week that I was in that playoff at Wyndham and had the putt to win. I'd love to get back in that position over this weekend.

“Generally everything has settled down for me and my game and everything is moving a good direction.

“If it's not this week, it would be a good goal to try and win an event by the end of this season.”

A bogey-double bogey start saw defending champion Cam Davis (73) fall back into a tie for 59th at three-under as Jason Day had two birdies and 16 pars in his second round of two-under 70. Day is in a tie for 35th through two rounds at five-under.

WITH KIWI Lydia Ko leading the way Hannah Green and Minjee Lee are the best of the Aussies at the halfway mark of the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.

The 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA champion had a run of three straight birdies from the sixth hole in her round of five-under 67, putting her in a tie for 25th alongside Lee at five-under, nine shots from the top of the leaderboard.

It was a frustrating day on the greens for Lee, the US Women’s Open champion requiring 33 putts in hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation in her round of even-par 72.

Seeking to solidify her position within the top five of the Epson Tour order of merit, Grace Kim is off to a strong start at the Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Michigan.

Kim had five birdies and two bogeys in her opening round of three-under 69, good enough for a tie for seventh and just two shots back of Chinese pair Xiaowen Yin and Ruoning Yin.

Soo Jin Lee, Gabriela Ruffels and Sarah Jane Smith all posted rounds of one-under 71 on day one with Robyn Choi a shot further back at even par.

MEANWHILE Australian Jeffrey Guan dropped out of the US Junior Amateur at the quarter-final stage after an epic top-eight match against Eddie Lee of the US. Lee was 5-up at one stage before the Sydney amateur launched a withering fightback, only surrendering when Lee birdied their 20th hole of the match.

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