Scott Pulls Ahead by One


Adam Scott is threatening to claim his second title on the European Tour this year, as the Compass Group English Open heads into its final 36 holes.
Scott ' winner of this seasons Alfred Dunhill Championship ' followed up an opening round 67 with a 70 on Friday and has assumed the outright lead over the Marriott Forest at 7-under-par 137.
He is ahead by a stroke over Jean Hugo (68), and by two over Peter OMalley, Massimo Scarpa and young Englishman Justin Rose (67).
According to the emerging Australian superstar, however, it could have been much more.
I felt like I could have been leading by four, five or six after the front nine today, claimed Scott, who went out in 2-under 34 and came home in 36. I was hitting it that close.
But it is about staying patient and I am going to have to figure that out.
My patience is getting pretty good because the last three weeks have been a test, he claimed. Ive played like this but struggled round with the putter. It is frustrating, but I think I can keep it together out there.
Scott is hoping to keep it together as he did earlier in the year, when he birdied the 72nd hole in the Alfred Dunhill to win by a stroke over a hard-charging Rose.
Rose, who would go on to finish runner-up again the very next week at the Mercedes-Benz South African Open, is hoping to reverse his fortunes, however.
He is also hoping to live up to the hype he generated when finishing fourth at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1996, when he was but a teenage amateur.
I always thought I was a good player and I felt Birkdale didnt do me any good other than kind of show me a glimpse of my potential, Rose shared of the time. If I had had to write the story it wouldnt have been like that but I dont regret it ' where I am now, it has made me a lot stronger.
One other player who is looking rather strong entering the weekend is Hugo, who has never finished an event on the European Tour higher than ninth.
He will share the dubious company of playing with Scott, one of the longest hitters in the game today.
It will be the first time Ive played in the last group in a European Tour event, he said, and Im really looking forward to it, and also having the chance to play with a rising star such as Adam.
One player who wont be around for the weekend will by seven-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie. The big Scott hurt his back and pulled out of the event through three holes on Friday. He may be forced to miss next weeks U.S. Open.
Playing partner and two-time defending champion Darren Clarke will play over the weekend, but with a total score of 2-over 146, he will have to post two superb numbers on Saturday and Sunday to have any sort of a shot at the three-peat.
Full-field scores from the English Open