Adam Scott is making a mockery of critics who doubted his ability to compete in a post-anchoring phase, jumping to the outright lead in the Cadillac Championship at Doral in Florida.
Scott leads the $US 9.5 million World Golf Championship tournament by two shots through two rounds after a 66 today to go with his opening 68.
It comes just a week after he won the Honda Championship at PGA National, jumping back into the top 10 in the world rankings.
The Australian set the tone with a six-metre birdie at the first hole, and he putted beautifully throughout, overtaking Phil Mickelson after the American wilted on the back nine. Momentarily joined in the lead by Rory McIlroy, he made another late burst, with birdie from close range at the 15th and at the short par-four 16th he monstered a driver on to the green and two-putted for another, then hit it close at the 17th for third on the trot.
Scott is using a regulation-length putter with a claw grip this season. He used a broomstick putter from 2011 at the suggestion of his coach and brother in law, Brad Malone, and won the 2013 Masters tournament with that implement.
Always a streaky rather than bad putter, he was No. 3 in the world and won tournaments everywhere before he made the switch to anchoring. Showing a sense of humor about the debate, he recently confirmed that he sent his broomstick putter to Peter Dawson, the former R and A secretary, as a private joke.
Scott made a personal plea to Dawson and the R and A around 2014, asking them not to ban anchoring. But he has moved on impressively now that the authorities acted.
Scott said he was working off the confidence gained from last week's win, his first in more than a year. "Well, there is momentum and it's a huge factor,'' he said. "The trick is figuring out how to use it and maintaining it, keeping it going from week to week. So far this week I've done a good job. Now the weekend's going to be a different animal, the leaderboard looks great, it's going to be exciting and the course at the moment is producing good scores. So I might have to keep it going at this same pace.''
Overnight leader Marcus Fraser faded slightly, carding a second-round 77 today. World No. 2 Jason Day endured a difficult day, carding a 74, and is well off the pace, 12 shots back.
World No. 3 McIlroy made a run, roaring around in 65 with a bombed birdie putt at the last to be just two from the lead in a tie for second place. The tournament has a great leaderboard, with Dustin Johnson (64 today) also tied-second.