Date: June 10, 2017
Author: Bernie McGuire

Scott finds season’s best 64

Memphis, Tennessee

Adam Scott recorded his lowest score of the year today – a six-under-par 64 – as he looks to make amends for letting slip victory 10 years ago when he last contested the St.Jude Classic

Scott turned around a no-frills opening-round 71 with an eagle and five birdies in hot and humid conditions on the TPC Southwind course in suburban Memphis.

It was the Queenslander’s lowest score since November when he also shot a 64, but on the par-72 layout that hosts the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.

Scott capped his Memphis charge with a 6-iron from 229 yards at the par-five 16th within 18 feet of the cup at the back of the green from where he holed the putt.

It was one of just 28 putts for Scott less than a week before he tees up in the US Open.

"I was striking it really good yesterday and struck it better today and it was just a matter of staying patient," he said.

"There are a couple of tricky holes early on and you can get yourself in some funny little positions around the greens here if you're not on the green. So, it was not quite the start I had in mind.

"But then it all started opening up for me and I played a really nice back nine and got a couple to go in late.

"If I made a few more putts it would have been a really special round. But (it was) nice that my ball-striking is kind of stepping up because that's been the only thing that's concerned me this year, really.

"And the highlight of the round was clearly on 16 with an eagle, for sure. It was a nice time to make a putt because just kind of spent the whole back nine missing 10-footers. To get one to go just makes you feel that confidence.

"And then I got it in there close again to 10 feet on the next and made it.  It's kind of just reward for the way I struck it and golf has a habit of working itself out like that."

It has been 10 years since Scott last was in Memphis and he said he can still recall vividly the week, and what would have been a then seventh PGA Tour title slip through his fingers.

Scott shot scores of 67, 66 and 68 to lead the field by three shots with a round to finish before imploding with a nasty 75 to share seventh place and eventually nine adrift of American Woody Austin who had been four back heading to day four.

"I changed my schedule a fair bit this year, especially leading into the majors and that it why I have added Memphis this year just as I am contesting the Scottish Open the week prior to The Open," he said.

"Although when I was last here I had a bit of a nightmare on Sunday here when I was leading the tournament 10 years ago, it left a good impression in my mind.

"There was no question that I knew it would be a good thing for me to come back here this year – a golf course that will suit me well and will challenge me.

"I think it's a very under-rated course on tour so I've been really pleased with how good of condition it's in and how good the greens are, so hopefully I'm making a lot of putts on the weekend."