2022 British Open: Hurt by Open failures, Adam Scott bounces back into contention at St. Andrews

2022 British Open: Hurt by Open failures, Adam Scott bounces back into contention at St. Andrews
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Through six holes of this Open Championship, Adam Scott appeared to be headed for an early exit.

“Things weren’t feeling particularly good,” said the Aussie.

But when he tapped in for birdie at the last on Friday afternoon at the Old Course, Scott found himself just two shots off the lead. After a 4-over start through a third of his first round, Scott battled back to finish 36 holes at 7 under.

“That’s what I needed,” said Scott, who fired a 7-under 65 on Friday. “Look, as good as the 65 was today, I think getting back to even was huge yesterday.”

Scott doesn’t know how far off he’ll be of the lead when he sticks his tee in the ground on Saturday afternoon, but he figures he’ll need to get into double-digits by the end of 54 holes to have a chance of winning come Sunday.

The version of Scott we’ve seen over the past 30 holes, which he’s gone bogey-free on while carding 11 birdies, certainly has that ability. Especially if the usually deft ball-striker keeps rolling it like he has been.

“I’d love to absolutely stripe it a bit more over the weekend, but really my putting was very, very good,” Scott said. “You’ve got to lean on that around here, and I’ve heard a lot of people say the guy who wins here is the leader of putting. So, hopefully I’m up there and trending.”

Scott owns five top-10s in Open, including four straight beginning in 2012. That year, of course, Scott led by four with four holes to play at Royal Lytham, but he bogeyed each of those holes and finished runner-up to Ernie Els.

Ten years later, Scott has yet to redeem that collapse at golf’s oldest major.

“You don’t need much extra motivation at an Open Championship, but anytime I think about letting one slip through my hands, it hurts,” Scott said. “And it would be exciting if I shot a really great round tomorrow to tee off with a legitimate feeling that I’m in contention, not only for the fact that I haven’t really been in that position for a major for a little while, but also for the fact that I’ve had one [hand] on this jug, I feel like, and I’d like to put two on.”

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