04 Mar 2022 | Professional golf |

Scott's strong start at Arnie's place

by Dane Heverin

Adam Scott in action during the opening round.

The absence of a driver and riding player partner Rory McIlroy’s wave of momentum has propelled Adam Scott into a share of fifth in the opening round of the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Scott opted to sacrifice distance off the tee in order to avoid Bay Hill's notoriously thick rough and it produced immediate results as he shot a four-under par round of 68 that included five birdies.

“If you look at my driver stats, accuracy is not its best thing. Distance is fine, but accuracy is not good,” Scott said.

“If it’s not in the bag, it’s not a temptation.”

Scott’s approach was in stark contrast to McIlroy’s - whose driving prowess was on full display during his seven-under par round that opened up a two shot lead - but the Queenslander did not feel as if he was selling himself short by not having the big stick in the bag.

“I know better than to get into a big hitting contest with Rory McIlroy,” Scott said.

“I like playing with Rory. I really enjoy watching him play. He's a guy I can watch play and get positive swing thoughts for myself. 

“I love watching him swing a golf club. I think almost everyone in the world would say that. But he's a guy I like watching play. Generally, he can lift my level of golf, especially when he's playing the way he did today.”

Fellow Australians Matt Jones and Marc Leishman got off to solid starts on Friday morning Australian time with two-under par rounds.

The PGA Tour is also in action at the Puerto Rico Open this week where Aaron Baddeley has made an excellent start.

Baddeley is two shots behind leaders Chase Seiffert and Michael Kim in a tie for third at the Grand Reserve Golf Club following a first round five-under par 67 which included seven birdies.

Greg Chalmers is also right in the hunt, one shot back from Baddeley in a share of sixth.

The second round of the LPGA’s HSBC Women’s World Championship is also on today in Singapore with Su Oh commencing the day tied for fifth at three-under par.

PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard

PGA Tour: Puerto Rico Open leaderboard

LPGA: HSBC Women’s World Championship leaderboard

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