ORLANDO, Fla. – Adam Scott took a unique approach around Bay Hill Club and Lodge on Thursday. He didn’t carry a driver.
Armed instead with a 2-wood, Scott put a premium on accuracy, sacrificing length for a better chance at avoiding the rough, which is thicker and gnarlier for this year’s edition of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“If you look at my driver stats, accuracy is not its best thing. Distance is fine, but accuracy is not good,” said Scott, who entered the week ranked No. 183 on Tour in driving accuracy at just north of 52%. “If it's not in the bag, it's not a temptation.”
Besides, as Scott stated, he knew better than “to get into a big-hitting contest with Rory McIlroy,” whom he played alongside in the opening round.
But as for the driver-less experiment, it didn’t actually achieve its intended result. Scott hit just half of the 14 fairways and ranked toward the bottom fourth of the 120-player field in strokes gained: off-the-tee, losing about a half-shot per tee shot. He also averaged just 269.5 yards off the tee.
With all that said, Scott still managed to score, carding five bogeys to just one bogey and shooting 4-under 68, tied for second-best in the morning wave behind only McIlroy’s 65.
Now, the question is: Will the driver remain on the sidelines?
“I don't know,” Scott said. “I've got to think about whether I'll do it tomorrow or not yet.”