Friday, Dec 09, 2016
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Golf

Scott does math, misses mark

Adam-Scott

Adam Scott acknowledges the crowd after shooting a 62 yesterday at Muirfield Village.

Kiichiro Sato / AP Enlarge

DUBLIN, Ohio - Perhaps the only thing that stood between Adam Scott and a slice of golf history yesterday was, well, Adam Scott.

There have been only three sub-60 rounds all-time in PGA Tour play and Scott admitted he had 59 on his mind yesterday at Muirfield Village.

The Australian didn't get it, settling for a 10-under-par 62 that left him with a 12-under 132 total and a one-shot lead over Rod Pampling at the midway point of the Memorial Tournament.

Scott birdied five straight holes starting at No. 4. After seeing the string end with a par at the ninth hole, he reeled off three more birdies on Nos. 10-12.

At the 13th, his approach shot stopped four feet from the hole.

"I can put two and two together," he said. "I thought, if I make this I'll be 10-under [for the round] and I've got five holes for three more birdies. The way things were going, a 59 was realistic with a par 5 in there."

With all that dancing through his mind, he proceeded to miss the putt.

Then, at the par-5 15th, Scott hit the purest of 5-wood approach shots to within five feet.

"I got up there and I saw it was so close and I did the math again," he said. "[An eagle] would put me 11-under with three to go, so there's still a good chance. But I just didn't hit the putt with enough speed to hold the line. Maybe thinking about a 59 was my error. I guess that's the one thing I can be critical of in my round. Maybe I shouldn't be so good at math."

That being the case, Scott probably had little trouble adding up 11 birdies, the most in a single tour round this year.

"I'm not going to say I'm disappointed with a 62," Scott said, laughing.

Pampling followed his opening-round 65 with a 68 as the afternoon turned a tad windy and was alone in second place at 11-under 133.

Aaron Baddeley is at 134 after a second-round 68, tied with Bubba Watson, who was 12-under at one point before scoring bogeys at two of the last four holes. Sean O'Hair, the co-leader with Pampling on Thursday, had a 70 and is tied with Ryan Moore (69) at 9-under 135.

Like leader Scott, Pampling and Baddeley are from Australia.

"I think it's great seeing Aussies do well," Baddeley said. "There are a few of us up there right now. Adam, obviously, was amazing today. Eleven birdies [are] pretty impressive. Obviously, Pamps is playing great, too.

"The greens are firm and fast and the fairways are firm, so there are some similarities to what we play in Australia. Different courses and different conditions don't scare us. When the greens get hard and fast, that's quite normal for us."

There are 55 players under par after two rounds and the 36-hole cut to low 70 scores and ties came at 2-over 146.

PHIL UPDATE: Phil Mickelson, who withdrew because of a wrist injury during Thursday's first round, was examined by a specialist in San Diego yesterday. No fracture was discovered by MRI and CT scans and Mickelson will take anti-inflammatory medication for several days and begin therapy on Monday. He said his chances of playing next week in Memphis are 50-50 because he "doesn't want to jeopardize the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Open" June 14-17 at Oakmont near Pittsburgh.

Contact Blade sports columnist

Dave Hackenberg at:

dhack@theblade.com

or 419-724-6398.

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