Adam Scott brandished a short putter competitively for the first time since 2011 today in firing an opening 70 on Doral’s Blue Monster.
The Queenslander, making his PGA Tour season debut after becoming a father a month ago, impressed with five birdies in the WGC Cadillac Championship opening round, showing few signs of rust.
More importantly as he leaves to permanently leave behind the broomstick before rule changes prevent anchoring by year’s end, he looked comfortable over a short putter.
Scott used a particularly large grip on his putter, and used a “claw” grip to roll in several medium-length birdie bombs.
Only a bogey on the 13th and double on the 14th prevented him from being higher than his T8 round one finish, eight behind runaway leader J.B. Holmes who fired a spectacular 62 on the Trump National Course in Doral.
His fellow American Ryan Moore is four shots adrift in second after a 66, but only 21 players finished in red numbers to highlight Scott’s impressive return – and Holmes’ incredible bogey-free round of eight birdies and an eagle.
Among the other Aussies, John Senden fired a 73, Geoff Ogilvy a 74 and Scott Jeffress a 75 in his WGC debut.
But Jason Day (76) and Greg Chalmers (77) will need to lift tomorrow to give themselves a prominent finish.
In the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open, veteran Queenslander Rod Pampling is well placed in a tie for fifth after an opening round 70.
Pampling is just two shots adrift of American leader Mark Hubbard.
But it’s not such great news for Victorians Cameron Percy (75) and Jarrod Lyle (76) who both need to cash in on the “opposite field” opportunity this weekend to enhance their card prospects.
Meanwhile, Queenslander Karrie Webb is sitting pretty after an opening 68 in the LPGA Tour’s HSBC Champions in Singapore.
Webb, beginning to shake off her early-season rust, hit 15 of 18 greens in joining a tie for fourth alongside four other players including world No.1 Lydia Ko at four under.
They’re all chasing world No.2 Inbee Park and revitalised former world No.1 Yani Tseng, who each fired 66 to lead American Angela Stanford by a stroke after round one.
Golf Australia rookie pro Minjee Lee also impressed with an opening 70, well in the mix at T14.