Date: May 11, 2018
Author: Martin Blake

Scott goes back to the future

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Adam Scott went back to some old equipment and found some of his best vintage at Sawgrass today as he put himself into the mix at the Players Championship.

Scott pulled out an eight-year-old Titleist driver and used a Scotty Cameron long putter on the greens (not anchored, of course) as he opened with a three-under par 69 in Florida.

The Australian has fallen to 71st in the world golf rankings and to this point, is not qualified for the US Open next month, meaning that a streak of major appearances that dates to 2001 is in danger.

But Scott had just 27 putts today, twice holed out from bunkers, and made a string of birdies in his round. He is just three shots from the lead held by a cluster of six players including world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

“It doesn't matter whether it's on the greens or you got to do something else driving the ball, to make the game what you feel is easier is definitely something you need to do, especially when you've been struggling for any kind of momentum out there, which has been, for me, frustrating," Scott said. "So, it's freeing some things up."

Jason Day also had a solid day, carding a 69 with six birdies and continuing his streak of not missing a putt inside five feet.

Victorian Marc Leishman started with a 71 but Rod Pampling (74), Cameron Smith (76) and Geoff Ogilvy (78) all face a battle to make the cut tomorrow.

Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods began with a an even-par 72 after a bogey at the 18th, but easily won his individual duel with veteran Phil Mickelson, who hit water balls on the 16th and 17th holes to shoot a disastrous 79.