Scott gives rivals big head start at Aussie Open

LIAM FITZGIBBON
Last updated 15:54 06/12/2012
Adam Scott
Getty Images
BAD START: Adam Scott emerges from the trees during what was a less than ideal start to his Australian Open campaign.

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Adam Scott is remaining positive in his pursuit of a second Australian Open title despite handing his rivals a sizeable head start after an underwhelming first round at The Lakes.

The tournament favourite, chasing back-to-back wins after his triumph at last month's Australian Masters, stuck with his trusty broomstick putter but was left to rue some "ordinary" shots with other clubs in a front nine that featured three bogeys.

He recovered well on the back nine to card an even-par 72, but it left him six shots behind clubhouse leader John Senden (66) and four adrift of his playing partner, Englishman Justin Rose (68).

"I tried to play quite aggressively my first nine and hit a few ordinary shots," Scott said.

"Nothing too bad but I got in a bit of trouble and wasted opportunities out there.

"I was a little bit off but played fairly good the back nine in pretty tricky conditions with the wind getting up and that's the tougher nine.

"So not too much damage done but I'm certainly giving them a head start this week."

Scott had no plans to curtail an aggressive approach, despite it getting him into trouble at times.

"If you're in the right spot, you've got to go for it," said Scott, who found the water with his rescue approach at the 17th.

"It's a course that can reward you for a good shot under those circumstances. The three par fives on the back nine are all gettable."

Much of the pre-tournament build-up focused on Scott's putter after last week's foreshadowing of a ban on putters anchored to the body in 2016.

Although he used a shorter blade at times during practice, he stuck with the longer club for Thursday's opening round and - aside from missing a four-footer for birdie on his opening hole - was pleased with the results.

"I missed that short one on the first but, after that, fairly solid," he said.

"It was just a day that, because I was a bit off with rhythm, I never hit too many shots really close ... it's hard to make putts from 40 feet.

"... I would have loved to be a few shots better but there's 54 holes to go. That's a lot of golf to play.

"You can have a good nine holes - you're right back in it."

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- AAP

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