Sun, Jun 03, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Scott takes lead at the Memorial with a career best score

AFP , DUBLIN, OHIO

Adam Scott equaled his career best score to seize the lead during the second round at the PGA Memorial tournament on Friday.

Scott flirted with the magical 59 before settling for a 10-under-par 62 in perfect scoring conditions at Muirfield Village.

When he got to nine-under through 12 holes, Scott had visions of becoming just the fourth player to break 60 on the PGA Tour, but he missed a couple of short putts down the stretch and fell one shot shy of the course record.

The world's fourth-ranked player, Scott posted a 12-under 132 halfway total, one shot better than fellow Australian Rod Pampling (68), with yet another Australian, Aaron Baddeley (68), and Florida native Bubba Watson (68) two behind.

"I put two and two together [thinking], if I make this four-footer [at the par-4 13th] I'll be 10-under and I've got five holes for three birdies," said Scott, who promptly missed the putt.

"Maybe that's the error I made. If I want to be critical of my round, then I've got to learn not to do that [but] I'm not going to say I'm disappointed with a 62," he said.

Tiger Woods was a distant 10 strokes off the pace, tied for 32nd place after a disappointing 72 on Friday.

Scott's long game was magnificent. He missed only two fairways and two greens in regulation, and all 11 of his birdies coming from inside 6m.

"That's probably the best ball-striking round I can remember," Scott said. "My ball-striking and distance control and everything was pretty much spot on, with the exception of the tee shot on 16 [where he made his lone bogey]. This is a tough course when you're just playing OK, but when you're playing good [it's possible to go low]. The greens were so pure this morning that if you got it started on line, it was going in."

Since winning in Houston two months ago, Scott has been frustrated by his inability to shoot scores commensurate with what, he believes, is the quality of his game.

Pampling could not match Scott's fireworks, but he putted well to make several good par saves in the middle of his round and keep his card bogey-free.

"It was nice to make those putts and then carry on and put up a good number," Pampling said.

Woods, meanwhile, lamented his putting after taking 31 strokes on the greens.

"I'm just not rolling the ball the way I want," Woods said. "These greens are so perfect. If you put a putt on line it should go in. I'm just not rolling the ball on line consistently. I have to make more putts, simple as that. I'm hitting it good enough."

World No. 2 Phil Mickelson, who withdrew after 11 holes of the first round due to a sore left wrist, had some relatively good news on Friday when tests did not reveal a fracture -- although the joint remains inflamed.

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