Date: November 16, 2013
Author: Luke Buttigieg, Omnisport

Scott’s pursuit of perfection unrelenting

He may be coming off a last-start win and heading the Australian Masters field by four strokes after three rounds but Adam Scott is still searching for the near-perfect round he believes is close at hand. A week after taking out the Australian PGA Championship, in a year that also saw him claim his first major at the US Masters in April, Scott has spoken in recent days of the low round he is sure he can shoot at Royal Melbourne. And after rounds of 67 and 66 on the first two days when he peppered the greens, but left his share of birdies out there as his putts to a large extent failed to drop, it looked like Saturday was going to be his day. Five birdies to the turn saw him rally from an early two-shot deficit behind fellow overnight leader Nathan Holman to lead by four at 14 under and threaten to post a score in the low 60s. But successive three-putt bogeys at the 11th and 12th holes put paid to those amibitions and coming home it was more about maintaining his advantage which he managed to do with some crucial par saves and a couple more birdies at 15 and 17. “Yeah it was a good round out there today for sure,” said Scott, who nonetheless spent about half an hour on the practice range as he attempted to &aposkeep the swing feeling good&apos heading into Sunday. “It puts me in a really good position for tomorrow. “(I played) lots of good golf and hopefully (there&aposs) more (to come) tomorrow. “That was huge at 16 today, it was an important moment,” the world number two added off his up and down from a bunker for par. “The last few holes were playing tough, the wind was a tough direction on 16 and 18 and I didn&apost hit my crispest iron shots into either but to save par was huge and to give me a little bit of a buffer rather than starting really neck and neck with everyone so (it was a) great save on 16.” Scott reiterated his statement from Friday night that if he continues to strike his irons as well as he has over the first three days he could well go close to matching the eight-under 63 veteran Fijian Vijay Singh managed on Saturday to grab a share of second place. “I just hit my shots today and put it in play off the tee with an iron and then hit lovely approach shots (and) made a couple of putts, really for the first time this week,” said Scott, who warned his rivals they might very well be competing for runner-up honours. “It was nice to take advantage of that and open a little gap at that point. “I was trying to put together that round that I feel like is close and it didn&apost quite happen because I made some mistakes up on 11 and 12 but if there&aposs enough holes with that kind of quality of golf tomorrow, a good score is going to be out there for me. “I just keep hitting good quality shots and giving myself opportunities, I&aposm giving myself so many opportunities every round. “If I do that I&aposm going to make a few of them and if I make a few of them it will be hard for the others to have enough.”