Adam Scott came to the Safeway Open – his first PGA Tour start of a new season – saying he was overdue for a win.
And the Australian, on the verge of veteran status, has put himself into a position to achieve his aim.
Scott, 39, opened with a barrage of birdies and a long bomb for eagle to shoot a 65 to begin the event in California and leads by a shot through round one.
The Queenslander made putts from everywhere, notably a 10-metre bomb on the 14th hole and then another from even longer range for eagle on the par-five fifth, having started on the back nine.
He made just one bogey, at the par-four 13th hole from deep rough off the tee, resuming from a holiday in the Bahamas with his family.
“I think it’s easy to walk away from hitting balls for a couple weeks, but it’s not easy to switch your mind out of thinking about your swing or thinking about your chipping or your putter or what driver setting you want this year,” Scott said. “But I did. I kind of had it all lined up to where I could walk away and walk back into it last week and feel at least confident enough that I’m not going to be horrible when I tee off today.”
Scott had his best season in ages in 2018-19 and has risen back to No. 15 in the world.
His appearance at Silverado is part of his preparation for the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in December.
It was a good day for Australians, with Aaron Baddeley also on the leaderboard after an opening 69, three-under par.
Meanwhile in the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, cricket legend Shane Warne has a share of the pro-am lead with New Zealander Ryan Fox after the first round.