PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – “On the first tee, 2004 Players champion Adam Scott.”
While the introduction on TPC Sawgrass’ 10th tee early Thursday morning was accurate, and even understandable considering the setting, it just wasn’t what Scott, who was teeing it up in a tournament for the first time since becoming the first Australian to win the Masters last month, was expecting.
“The biggest disappointment of the day was on the first tee because (the announcer) didn’t announce me as the Masters champion,” Scott said.
While the formalities didn’t live up to Scott’s expectations, his play certainly did. He carded a relatively stress-free 69 at The Players and was tied for 11th as the afternoon wave set out in increasingly difficult conditions.
Although Scott was outplayed by his two playing companions – Rory McIlroy (66) and Steve Stricker (67) – he was solid Tee to Green, hitting 85 percent of his fairways and 88 percent of greens in regulation.
If he felt anything needed to be cleaned up, other than his curious introduction, it was his putting. For the day, Scott needed 31 putts and was tied for 130th in putting out of a 144-player field.
“I played really well,” he said. “I just didn’t make everything I could have. They (McIlroy and Stricker) were making it look very easy. They played beautifully. It was a pleasure to watch.”