PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Adam Scott has played 35 holes of flawless golf at The Players Championship. It’s that 36th tally, the lone blemish on his record at the halfway point, that may prove to be his undoing.
Scott was bogey-free through 17 holes Thursday before a quadruple-bogey 8 on No. 18, the product of a pair of shots into the water and an unlucky bounce off the cart path. In the span of 20 minutes, all of Scott’s progress was undone and he was left to stomach a disappointing 1-over 73.
“I didn’t go bouncing home,” Scott said. “But a couple of drinks in the locker room with Matt Jones and we left a little calmer than I left the 18th green. It’s a crazy game.”
Beginning the day 10 shots off the pace, Scott capitalized on his early second-round tee time and fired a bogey-free, 7-under 65 to get back to 6 under for the tournament.
A winner here in 2004, Scott was pleased to be able to take advantage of the soft conditions. But with both Colt Knost and Rory McIlroy challenging the course record in the morning wave, Scott added that he would prefer to see a more difficult test for a tournament of this stature.
“I think if the greens were firmer, it would be the challenge that we need it to be,” he said. “I don’t know whether that’s natural causes or it’s that the general health of these greens haven’t been as good as they’ve wanted them since they switched to this grass. Maybe that’s why they’re digging them up (to replace them in 2017).”
While Scott still has plenty of ground to make up on the leaders, he’s no stranger to neutralizing big numbers – in Florida, no less. Scott won the Honda Classic in March despite a quad during the third round, then won the next week at Doral despite a pair of final-round doubles.
“Unfortunately, I have some recent experience at making big numbers and coming back,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it’ll be the first time that anyone’s won two tournaments with quads, if I were to manage to have a miraculous weekend.
“It’s probably going to be a costly 8 for me this week, if I play well over the weekend. But you never know. I made two doubles at Doral and never thought of winning.”