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Scott fires 66 as he still eyes spot in U.S. Open

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DUBLIN, Ohio – Adam Scott’s uphill battle to snag a last-minute exemption into the U.S. Open is officially back on.

Needing to crack the top 60 in the world rankings by June 11, Scott fell from 61st to 65th with a T-52 finish last week at the Fort Worth Invitational. He appeared headed for a similar result at the Memorial Tournament following a pedestrian 72 in the opening round, but the Aussie finally found his form on the greens during a second-round 66 that vaulted him into contention.

Scott made hay on the easier front nine at Muirfield Village Golf Club, shooting a 30 to close out his round that included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole. At 6 under, he heads into the weekend in a tie for 14th, five shots off the lead.

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Scott’s run of 67 straight majors, which dates back to 2001 and is second only to Sergio Garcia’s 72 among active streaks, is very much in jeopardy. He’s currently entered into a 36-hole sectional qualifier Monday in Columbus, but he was frank about how his feelings regarding a potential marathon day with a handful of spots up for grabs.

“I have no desire to play on Monday, at all,” Scott said.

In order to eschew the qualifier, he’ll need to make a significant move up the rankings this week. But since the final cutoff isn’t until after the FedEx St. Jude Classic, it’ll be a bit of a moving target for the Aussie in terms of exactly what he needs this week as he looks to book a ticket to Shinnecock with as little stress as possible.

Scott is also slated to play next week in Memphis as a last-ditch effort to crack the top 60, but that would be his sixth straight event and would mean that the U.S. Open would be seven starts in seven weeks, should he qualify. His goal remains to take care of business here to afford some rest next week.

After barely missing out on qualifying at the first world ranking cutoff following the AT&T Byron Nelson, Scott admitted that the recent crucible of juggling world ranking projections and on-course performance has taken a toll.

“I haven’t stopped yet. It’s not going to be good when I do stop, that’s for sure,” he said. “Look, I was flat yesterday, not a lot of focus on the golf course. It’s hard not to beat yourself up about it here and there, but what can you expect. I’ve played a lot of rounds of golf. It’s been hot as hell the last three weeks, too, so I have to give myself a little bit of slack here and there in this stretch that I’m on at the moment.”