US Masters: Great Adam Scott ready to pounce

Adam Scott US Masters Golf

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Defending Masters champion Adam Scott has got off to a good start in the defence of his title after shooting a three-under-par 69 in Thursday’s opening round at Augusta.

The Australian is one of three players in joint second on 69, one shot behind surprise early leader Bill Haas. American Haas carded his best ever score in a Major after completing his round four under par.

Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy is handily placed too after day one following a one-under-par 71. The Northern Irishman, competing in his sixth Masters, could have gone into the clubhouse two under had he not three putted on the 18th.

Nevertheless, McIlroy was satisfied with his opening round. He said: “It was a good day. It was solid. I think they set the course up very difficult today. Some of the pin positions were tough to get close to. It was just, sometimes I wasn’t putting the ball in the right place and taking two putts and getting out of there.

“For the most part I felt like I put my ball in the positions they needed to be in and it was just one of those days it was tough to get it close to the hole. The greens are firming up. The wind was all over the place. Anything under par today was a good score.”

Meanwhile, it was business as usual for Scott who has been in terrific form of late.

He picked up birdies at the first, sixth, eighth, 10th and 14th, and made his only serious error at the 12th, where he found the water and picked up a double-bogey.

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