KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — There’s an old cliche that can make you roll your eyes, but it is true in many cases: When you fall off the horse, get back on and ride again.
Adam Scott is fortunate enough to have that chance this week at the PGA Championship, allowing him to put his Open Championship collapse behind him and try to grab that first major title at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.
And he got off to a great start, firing a 4-under 68 on Thursday to sit two shots off Carl Pettersson’s 18-hole lead.
“It would be great to put two more rounds together and be coming here Sunday with a good look at the championship,” said Scott, who hit 13 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens. “Otherwise, you know, if I don’t, then I’ll really feel like I’ve let it all slip this year for me.”
Scott started fast on Thursday, picking up birdie at Nos. 1 and 2 and another at No. 7, erasing a bogey at No. 4. He’d birdie the back-nine’s par-5s to post 34 on both sets of nines.
“You certainly have to pick your moments to attack. There are only about three par-4s that you would call short and get a wedge in your hand; if you drive it well, you can hit a wedge into the green, and if you’re getting a wedge in your hand, you’re attacking,” said Scott, who played with Hunter Mahan (72) and Sergio Garcia (76).
Scott attacked the majors differently this season, choosing to play less week-to-week and focus on the major venues. While he did play Bridgestone last week, he still got in his practice.
“I did come down last Monday, Tuesday before Bridgestone to play here and felt that was really worthwhile,” said Scott. “That’s part of my thing, is coming before and getting a really good understanding of the course before I get here tournament week.”
The conditions still changed that preparation, with the wind not a huge factor for the 156-player field, with only the afternoon wave really having to think about adjustments for the gusts.
“It was different than I imagined and I don’t really know why,” said Scott. “It’s quite intimidating on your first look, and I didn’t really know where I was going and it looked very difficult.
“But that may have to do with slightly softer conditions after the rain.”