Brett Rumford admits Adam Scott “intimidates” him, but Peter Wilson says the 2013 US Masters champion is just another player.
Tomorrow, Wilson will get his chance to prove just that when he tees off in the final group of the Australian Masters level with Scott at eight under.
And that in itself is remarkable after a third 42 regular gold jacket was almost being ordered when the 2012 and 2013 champ breezed through his front nine in four under and five clear of the field.
But with his driver faltering and the putter cooling off, Scott brought a swag of players back into the fray when he played the back nine three over.
Victorian Wilson made just one bogey en route to his second consecutive round of 67, while fellow veteran Matty Guyatt, of Queensland, went one better to again land himself in Masters contention at seven under.
Rumford (64) and first-time American visitor George McNeill (66) share fourth after each cashed in on benign conditions, while big names John Senden (68) and Mat Goggin (70) are still handy at five under.
But the man in the hot seat alongside Scott tomorrow is Wilson, the 37-year-old part-time farmer from Nyora in South Gippsland.
Not that you’d know by asking him.
“They are just human to me,” said Wilson, without predicting how he’d fare.
“I’ve played with most of the (big) guys now – Graham McDowell a few years ago … and with Vijay Singh the last day at Fiji – I don’t get intimidated by anybody, it will be good fun.”
It’s a far cry from Rumford’s take on the matter.
The West Australian veteran, who has played many times with Scott, said he would still fear him if paired in a late group.
“Yeah. It's hard not to. His game is so, big, you fear his ability, what he can do, what he can reduce a golf course into with his sheer power and length,” Rumford said.
“It's hard not to be intimidated by that kind of ability, no doubt about it.”
For what it’s worth, Scott said he understood both positions, especially having literally turned his back on Tiger Woods when he was learning to play alongside him in the big leagues.
But the former world No.1 was more focused on his wayward driver and that he’d coughed up a chance to put the tournament to bed early.
“Yeah, with a really solid back nine, I would have been in a really commanding position going into tomorrow – not that I was really thinking about that, but that's how it would have been,” Scott said.
“But when I took the driver out today, I think I only hit one fairway with it.
“I hit it five times (and) there are not a lot of good options off the fairway around Huntingdale.”
With the practice range off limits for drivers this week, Scott joked he might have to spend some time at next-door Metropolitan in the Saturday club competition so he could find his driving touch.
"It was the tale of two halves today," Scott said. "A lovely start, played really solid and then a couple loose shots on the back nine and I kind of was grinding to get it in the clubhouse
actually. That's the way it goes.''