Scott nearly flawless in posting 3-under 69
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Adam Scott didn't want to complain about his 3-under 69 on Thursday at the Masters, but even he knew it could have been better.
"You know, I think the par 5s are a big key for me here, and I didn't take advantage of them today and shot 69, so that's a good indication of the quality of my play today," said Scott, who was only 1 under on the par 5s for the day, including two three-putts for pars on the back nine.
"It's disappointing to three‑putt them both. I would have maybe accepted one and a 2‑putt on the other," continued Scott.
Scott made few other mistakes on Thursday, hitting 14 of 18 greens and 10 of 14 fairways, while needing 30 putts on what Brandt Snedeker described as "the fastest greens I've seen out here."
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"He had it on a piece of string," said 19-year-old playing competitor Matthew Fitzpatrick. "That's what I felt like, anyway. Maybe a couple of loose shots, but other than that it was great to watch."
One of those loose shots caused the only blemish on his scorecard, as he hit the water on the 12th hole for the first time in 13 Masters appearances, leading to a double bogey after he had taken the lead at 4 under with a birdie at the 10th.
"It's just that back right pin spot. I wasn't even paying attention to it and it got me ‑‑ I wasn't trying to hit it over there," said Scott, who was 2 over on the course's shortest hole over 44 career rounds at Augusta National.
"But it was so little wind, it was probably a problem today, rather than when it's blowing all kinds of directions."
Scott will be able to take solace in that he matched his best opening-round score at Augusta National, and becomes the first defending champion to break 70 in the first round of the following year's tournament since Vijay Singh in 2001.
He's also currently T-2, which would be his best position after 18 holes at the Masters, his previous best being last year when he was 10th – and we all know how that worked out.
"Getting off to a good start in major is huge, because I think they are the hardest tournaments to kind of chase," Scott said.
"Birdies aren't that easy to come by usually at majors, and if you're six back, five back, 10 back after the first round, it's a hard three days in front of you to peg it back. You almost have to play flawless.
"So to get off to a good start is key."