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Scott ties course record despite flu

Masters champion Adam Scott takes a three-shot lead with an opening round of 62 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Last updated: 21 Mar 2014 07:42
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Scott notched a career low round on the PGA Tour despite feeling ill all night [AFP]

Masters champion Adam Scott climbed out of his sick bed and into a three-shot lead after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida.

Scott felt lousy all night, but his decision to play proved a good one as he carded a majestic 10-under-par 62 that tied the course record at Bay Hill.

There's no better motivation for me this week than to win this tournament and shake Arnold's hand and be number one in the world.

Adam Scott, World No. 2

"I was up with the doctors this morning, a bit fluey and pretty lethargic," he told Golf Channel.

"I think getting out in the fresh air was good for me and moving around a little bit rather than feeling sorry for myself in bed."

Nobody came close to matching Scott, with young Japanese standout Ryo Ishikawa and American John Merrick best of the rest, shooting 65 in the afternoon.

World number two Scott took advantage of his length and accuracy off the tee to negotiate six under en route to the first 62 at Bay Hill since his boyhood idol Greg Norman three decades ago.

It was a career low round on the PGA Tour for Scott, though he shot 61 at the 2008 Qatar Masters on the European Tour.

The Australian also found success with his long putter, needing just 23 putts as he mixed two eagles with seven birdies and a bogey in ideal morning conditions.

"I'm really thrilled with the start today," Scott, making his first Bay Hill start since 2009, told reporters.

"It's maybe a little surprising. I don't know where it came from but the putter certainly got hot today.

Scott has reduced his tournament schedule over the past couple of years in order to prepare for the majors in peace and quiet.

Watson finds water

With a win on Sunday, the 33-year-old from Adelaide, South Australia, can move to within a whisker of taking the world number one ranking from Tiger Woods, the eight-time Bay Hill champion who is not defending due to back spasms.

"There's no better motivation for me this week than to win this tournament and shake Arnold's hand and be number one in the world," Scott continued.

It was not such a good day for 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Citing allergies, he withdrew after an 11-over-par 83 that included an 11 at the par-five sixth, where he drove three balls into the water.

401

Source:
Reuters
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