Adam Scott continues to chase top ranking
Adam Scott has a free shot at clawing towards the world No.1 ranking at the Arnold Palmer Invitational although the withdrawal of Tiger Woods and countryman Jason Day has likely taken away his actual chances of getting there.
In a bizarre fall-out from current No 1 Woods' back injury and No 4 Day's thumb complaint, the strength of field for the event at Bay Hill has taken just enough of a mathematical hit to affect the chase for Scott.
The complex world ranking system assigns points to an event based on the current world rankings of those playing and while official projections aren't computed until all players begin the event it appears a win for Scott would still leave him fractionally short of Woods.
Had Day been able to play, a win for Scott in Woods' absence would have most likely been enough to take the top spot.
Regardless, a win would at the very least get him close enough to pass Woods at the Masters with a higher finish than the American, even if he didn't defend.
Scott had the chance to get to the summit in his last start at Doral but wasn't able to muster the necessary victory, instead finishing tied 25th.
"There was some fun in going to Doral and having a chance to win and maybe go to No 1 and that's a huge motivator. It didn't really work out and I don't know how many of those chances I'll get," Scott said as he prepares for his final event before he'll defend his Masters title next month.
"So if I get another chance I'm going to be doing my best to take it because the well might dry up, and I might never have this opportunity again."
Scott returns to Bay Hill for the seventh time, but first time since missing the cut in 2009.
His best result was a tie for third in 2004, something he is looking to better as he gets his last competitive hit out before the Masters.
"I think it's a course that suits me and I'm expecting to put myself in the mix and try to get myself into some pretty good form heading into the next month," Scott said.
"Hopefully I'm going to make a few birdies. I'm coming here to make a few birdies and kind of get the confidence up a little bit, see a few go in the hole.
"I'd like to see my game work into a bit of shape and then I think it will be exciting for me going to Augusta feeling like I'm playing pretty good."
Stuart Appleby, Greg Chalmers, Aaron Baddeley, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, former event champion Rod Pampling, and last week's Valspar Championship winner John Senden join Scott at Bay Hill.