Front-nine 40 leaves Scott seven back in Sydney

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Adam Scott was one hole from winning the Australian Open last year, but after Day 1 in Sydney, the No. 3 player in the world finds himself seven shots off the pace set by leader Jordan Spieth.

Scott got off to a miserable start Thursday, making double bogey at the first and dropping three more shots at Nos. 3, 6 and 9 to go out in 5-over 40.

He did respond nicely on the back, with two birdies and seven pars to mitigate some of the damage, but still finished 3 over.

"I made the worst of my worst shots and didn't convert the good ones early," he told the Associated Press.

Scott struggled last week in the first round of the Australian Masters as well. Attempting to defend his title, he opened with a 73 before eventually finishing one shot behind winner Nick Cullen.

"I have to play three really great days now and it seems that's what I'm doing week after week," he said. "But I'll claw my way back into it tomorrow morning."