Date: November 15, 2013
Author: Martin Blake / Royal Melbourne Golf Club

Scott seizes share of Masters lead

Adam Scott is on track to defend his Talisker Masters title at Royal Melbourne. Today was not his best day, particularly on the greens. But three straight birdies to start, then two more on the 15th and 17th holes gave him a 66 to complement his opening 67 on Thursday and a share of the lead. The 33-year-old Scott will go out tomorrow paired with Nathan Holman, the 22-year-old Victorian rookie professional who is in just his fifth tournament as a pro, roaring around today in 65 to reach nine-under-par at the halfway point. Holman, 14th in the Australian PGA Championship and second in the Victorian Open as an amateur last year, does not want for confidence and as a Woodlands Golf Club member, knows Royal Melbourne well. In fact he won the Master of the Amateurs event here in 2012, and he said after his round earlier in the day: “I hope I get to play with him (Scott).&apos&apos Scott said this week it would be nice to feel some heat from the younger players coming through; tomorrow he will get first-hand experience of what that feels like. A couple of other up-and-comers, Matthew Griffin and Nick Cullen, are just a shot back at eight-under-par. America&aposs world No. 8 Matt Kuchar also surged into contention with a 66, and he is just four shots from the lead going into the weekend. Scott, the world No. 2, almost took the outright lead with a curling right-to-left birdie putt at the last, but it turned wickedly under the lip of the hole, and that was typical of his day. He made few putts of substance, but he was virtually mistake-free from tee to green for a second consecutive day. “I was hoping it was going to be one of those great days, but (I) definitely cooled off,&apos&apos he said. “It seemed like every good putt I hit burned the edge. I had to stay patient and I ended up with a good score.&apos&apos Scott said the round had turned into a grind in fluky winds. “I had to stay patient and realise that pars weren&apost going to hurt me. It wasn&apost an exciting five-under at all.&apos&apos