Defending champ Scott opens with 72


Even a familiar venue wasn't enough to bring Adam Scott out of his current funk.

One year after the Aussie solidified his spot atop the world rankings with a victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, Scott opened with a 2-over 72 to sit eight shots off the early pace - and outside the projected cut line.

Scott's run of consecutive made cuts was the longest active streak on the PGA Tour when he missed his first cut of the year at the Valspar Championship in March. He also missed the cut last week at the Wells Fargo Championship, and now could be on the verge of his first back-to-back missed cuts since June 2010.

The putter has let Scott down in recent weeks as he has slipped to 11th in the world, and it did him few favors during an opening round that included 30 putts. But his ball-striking was also an issue, as Scott found only 11 of 18 greens in regulation. He birdied his first hole of the day and made three during his round, but his scorecard also included three bogeys and a three-putt double bogey on No. 8.

Scott remained optimistic heading into the week, but he still showed signs of frustration.

"I certainly haven't put any numbers on the board, and that's really what it's down to now," Scott told reporters Wednesday. "I feel this year I've really gotten the least out of my game. I've made the worst of it, and that's not a nice feeling at all."

Despite the slow start, all is not yet lost for Scott. Last year he opened with a 1-over 71, but he bounced back with a second-round 68 to make the cut and went 66-66 over the weekend before defeating Jason Dufner in a playoff.