Adam Scott birdied his first six holes to set up a course-record 10-under 62 at Royal Sydney yesterday to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian Open.
Scott is attempting to become the second golfer after Robert Allenby in 2005 to win all three Australian majors in the same year.
Scott broke the previous Royal Sydney mark of 65 set by five players at the 2008 Australian Open. After Scott’s opening birdie run, he parred the next eight holes before making birdie on his final four.
“The longest putt I had on those opening birdies was about five feet,” Scott said. “I hit a lot of quality shots right out of the blocks this morning.”
Canadian Ryan Yip shot 65 to tie the previous record and was in second place. David McKenzie had a 66 while two-time champion Aaron Baddeley was in a group with 67s tied for fourth.
Rory McIlroy, trying to win for the first time this year, shot 69, seven behind Scott. McIlroy made the turn at two-under, bogeyed 11 and 12, but had three birdies in his final seven holes, including on the 18th.
The US’ Kevin Streelman, who played with Matt Kuchar on the runner-up US team in last week’s World Cup at Royal Melbourne, shot 70 playing in the same group as Scott and Jason Day.
Day, who won the individual stroke play at the World Cup, also shot 70.
Scott could not recall starting any round with six birdies, thinking that he once had five in a row to start a round in Qatar. He finished his round yesterday with an approach to nearly tap-in range on the ninth.
Most of the best scores yesterday came in the morning groups as the wind picked up in the afternoon. Similar weather conditions are forecast for today, when Scott will play in the afternoon.
Scott won the Australian PGA and Australian Masters before sharing the World Cup team trophy with Day last week in Melbourne.