Adam Scott got rolling on the back nine Thursday with this 34-foot eagle putt on No. 11.
By Ward Clayton, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Adam Scott used terms like “fiery” and “spicy” to describe the speed of the greens at THE PLAYERS Championship on Thursday.
But that’s good news for the 31-year-old Australian. His 4-under-par 68 kept him within three strokes of first-round co-leaders Ian Poulter and Martin Laird. The day reminded him of 2004 when he captured THE PLAYERS Championship, a year he opened with his tournament-best 65.
“The year I won the greens were really quick,” Scott said. “But that was a whole different ballgam e then. I don’t know if I’ve seen them this quick since the change in 2007 (when the course was refurbished). They were really spicy today – maybe the quickest greens we’ve seen this year anywhere.”
Scott reached 6 under early in the back nine on Thursday with an eagle on the par-5 11 th and a birdie on the short par-4 12 th. Bogeys on the par-3 13 th (three-putt) and par-4 15 th (errant drive) brought him back to earth. A wide-swinging two-putt from approximately 60 feet above the hole on the par-3 17 th salvaged the round, a par he attributed mainly to an assist from veteran caddie Steve Williams.
“That was a good read from Steve,” Scott said. “We worked hard on the greens today. I’ve been reading the greens mostly this year and haven’t done the best job of it. Steve has been confirming all the lines for me here.”
Being that this is only Scott’s fifth start of the season gives him hope that he is finding his stride. His best finish was a tie for eighth at the Masters Tournament, concluded by a final-round 66 that included an ace on the par-3 16 th hole.