Scott's chance to become No. 1 sinks at 17, 18


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – It appears Adam Scott’s quest for world No. 1 will have to wait another week.

Scott found the water on each of the final two holes Thursday at TPC Sawgrass, each leading to a double bogey. He finished with a 5-over 77, an effort that beat only four players during the opening round of The Players Championship.

“Not the finish I needed,” Scott said. “To hit two in the water at the end is a sin around here, but it happens so I’ve just got to go out and have a good round in the morning.”

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Scott needed at least a tie for 16th this week to pass Tiger Woods atop the world rankings, but instead he made three double bogeys in a single round for the first time in 315 competitive rounds, a streak that dates back to the 2009 Memorial. After taking 33 putts, Scott spoke to the media with putter in hand before heading to the practice green.

“I didn’t putt very well, and compounded that with a couple poor shots on the last couple holes,” he said. “At a course like this, it can get away from you that quick.”

The Aussie notably had a chance to claim the top spot in the world rankings at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he forfeited a seven-shot lead over the weekend before finishing third. Another opportunity came and went at the Masters, where he tied for 14th.

With his chances now on life support at TPC Sawgrass, Scott insisted that his attention has been on the Stadium Course, not the permutations of the world rankings.

“It’s not been my focus,” he said. “I really believe it’s just part of the process. I didn’t tee off today thinking about No. 1 because there’s 72 holes before that could happen.”