SYDNEY – Adam Scott birdied his first six holes en route to a course-record 10-under 62 at Royal Sydney on Thursday to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian Open.
Scott is attempting to join Robert Allenby as the only golfers to win all three Australian majors in the same year. Allenby won the Australian PGA, Australian Masters and Australian Open in 2005.
Scott broke the previous Royal Sydney mark of 65 set by five players at the 2008 Australian Open. After Scott's opening birdie run, he made par on the next eight holes before birdieing his final four.
''The longest putt I had on those opening birdies was about 5 feet,'' Scott said. ''I hit a lot of quality shots right out of the blocks this morning.''
Canadian Ryan Yip and American John Young Kim each shot 65s and were tied for second. David McKenzie had a 66 while two-time champion Aaron Baddeley was in a group with 67s.
''I like to see the ball running and that's what this course offers me,'' said Yip, a regular on the Canadian Tour.
Rory McIlroy opened with a 69 in his bid for his first win of the year. He made the turn at 2-under, bogeyed 11 and 12, but had three birdies in his final seven holes, including on No. 18.
American Kevin Streelman, who played with Matt Kuchar on the runner-up American team in last week's World Cup at Royal Melbourne, shot 70 playing in the same group as Scott and Jason Day.
Day, who won the individual stroke play at the World Cup, also shot 70.
Scott could not recall starting any round with six birdies, thinking that he once had five in a row to start a round in Qatar. He finished his round Thursday with an approach to nearly tap-in range on the ninth.
''I'm off to a good start, but a lot of work to do yet,'' Scott said. ''It's been a long time since I shot a low round like this. It's a tough setup, but it was a perfect morning for it.''
Most of the best scores Thursday came in the morning groups as the wind picked up in the afternoon. Similar weather conditions are forecast for Friday when Scott will play in the afternoon.
Scott won the Australian PGA and Australian Masters before sharing the World Cup team trophy with Day last week at Royal Melbourne.