Scotts 62 Sets Pace at the Memorial

By Associated PressJune 1, 2007, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Adam Scott was frustrated by hitting good shots and signing for mediocre scores. After a spirited chat with his caddie, both were determined to squeeze everything they could out of the second round at the Memorial.
 
Scott flirted with perfection Friday at Muirfield Village, missing four putts inside 12 feet and still shooting a 10-under 62.
 
It gave him a one-shot lead over Rod Pampling, and he hopes it will be enough to shake off the golf gremlins that have been holding him back since his victory in Houston two months ago.
 
'We just told each other what we thought about what's going on out there, a bit of a heart-to-heart, because we knew I was close to playing really well,' Scott said of his talk with Tony Navarro. 'Our idea was to come out and be focused, and neither of us make a mistake.'
 
He made one, hitting a heavy 7-iron that tumbled off the front of the green and into the bunker on the par-3 16th, and his 12-foot par putt rippled over the edge. He followed that with a 20-footer on the 17th for his 11th birdie of the round.
 
Scott was at 12-under 132, one shot ahead of Pampling, who played bogey-free for a 68. Bubba Watson had a chance to tie for the lead until he went long on the 18th for a bogey for a 68, leaving him at a 10-under 134 with another Aussie, Aaron Baddeley (68).
 
It was another day of good scoring conditions, with stifling heat, mild breezes, fairways with plenty of roll and greens that held approach shots and rolled smoothly.
 
That wasn't the case for Tiger Woods.
 
The three-time Memorial champion hit the ball decently enough, but couldn't make anything outside 6 feet until he rolled in a 10-foot birdie on the final hole for a 72, leaving him 10 shots behind.
 
'You look at a lot of guys up there, they're making a bunch of putts, and not just from 6, 7, 8 feet. They're making them from 20 feet,' Woods said. 'I just haven't done that.'
 
Scott didn't really need to. He hit the ball so pure that except for hitting into the bunker on the 16th and going into the first cut of rough beyond the 18th green, he had only one putt longer than 15 feet.
 
Jim Furyk noticed the 62 on the board before he teed off, but what really got his attention were the other low scores from the morning group of players -- some were pretty good, but nowhere close to what Scott did.
 
Scott's round was one shot off the course record -- John Huston had a 61 in 1996 -- but even more impressive was that the next lowest score on the day was 67.
 
'That round was really good because it separated himself,' Furyk said after his 69. 'That's how I judge a low round. Someone might shoot 63, and you'll see a couple of 64s and a couple of 65s. But when the next best round is a 67 ... that's a darn good round.'
 
It was so good that Scott twice had reason to think about a 59.
 
After going out in 30 to move into a tie for the lead, he birdied the next three holes to reach 9 under through 12 holes, then hit his approach to 5 feet on the 13th. Another birdie would have put him at 10 under for the round, needing only three birdies over the final five holes to hit golf's magic number.
 
'The way things were going, it was realistic with a par 5 in there,' Scott said.
 
The slick putt slid by on the right, and Scott returned his focus to the next shot. He escaped with par on a good two-putt from 40 feet on the 14th, then hit his best shot of the day. With 248 yards to a pin at the back right of the green behind a bunker, Scott hit 5-wood that faded slightly and held its line over the final 100 yards, catching a ridge and settling 5 feet away.
 
Then he went back to crunching numbers.
 
'When I got up there and saw it so close, I did the math again,' Scott said with a smile. 'I thought, 'OK, here we go.''
 
And there it went. It was another fast putt that Scott didn't want to run too far by the cup in case he missed, and the speed was such that it immediately lost its line and tailed off to the right.
 
'Going 11 under with three to go, there's a good chance,' Scott said. 'I shouldn't be so good at math.'
 
But he had no trouble adding his scores to 62, matching his lowest score on the PGA Tour.
 
'We were watching it,' Ben Curtis said. 'It looked like 59 there for a while, especially through 12 or 13 holes. But he still could have the low score by six shots today.'
 
It was only five -- U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and Trevor Immelman shot 67s.
 
Pampling was one shot out of the lead and five clear of Scott when he teed off, playing bogey-free and picking up enough birdies to leave him satisfied. It just wasn't enough to keep his nose in front, even after rounds of 65-68.
 
'You'd like to be leading after two rounds if you shoot those numbers,' Pampling said. 'But obviously, the conditions were pretty nice early on, and Adam took full advantage. I couldn't believe it. He kept going, didn't he? But the chance was there.'
 
They will be in the final pairing Saturday, two Australians separated by 11 years. Pampling was an apprentice when he first met Scott at a place called Twin Waters.
 
'One of the guys said this young kid was out there playing,' said the 37-year-old Pampling. 'They were talking about how good he was. I don't know what score he shot there, but that was the first time I had met him.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Memorial Tournament
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

    The Monday morning headline will be …

    REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

    RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

    MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

    JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.



    Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

    HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

    LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

    BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

    COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.



    Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

    HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

    LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

    BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

    COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.



    What will be the winning score?

    HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

    LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

    BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

    COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

    @kharms27 on Instagram

    Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

    Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

    Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

    This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

    While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

    Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

    Getty Images

    McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

    Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

    “It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

    “Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

    He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.  

    @radiosarks on Twitter

    Height of irony: Phil putts in front of 'rules' sign

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 1:36 pm

    A picture is worth 1,000 words and potentially two strokes for playing a moving ball under Rule 14-5 but not Rule 1-2.

    Phil Mickelson has been having some fun during his Open prep at Carnoustie hitting flop shots over human beings, but the irony of this photo below is too obvious to go over anyone's head.

    Mickelson also tried tapping down fescue two weeks ago at The Greenbrier, incurring another two-shot penalty.

    And so we're left to wonder about what Phil asked himself back at Shinnecock Hills: "The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’”