Royal Lytham was toothless on Thursday. After spending the last couple of days leading up to the opening round of the 141st British Open talking about the potential for rain and blustery conditions, players in the morning draw were greeted with a breathless wind and overcast skies.
In other words, perfect scoring conditions.
Adam Scott took advantage of Royal Lytham's charity, torching the course to the tune of 6-under 64 to take a one-shot lead early in the day.
With the exception of a poor tee shot on the par-4 18th that found the high grass, Scott played a near-flawless round, carding eight birdies, including five in a six-hole stretch on the back-nine.
The benign weather conditions made you believe someone would go low early on, but there was little reason to believe that guy would be Adam Scott. In his 12 previous British Open starts, the Aussie had recorded one top-10 finish. Needless to say, he wasn't on the list of favorites to leave with the Claret Jug on Sunday.
But as we've seen in the past, sometimes flying under the radar at a major championship can be a good thing. There was a time not too long ago where it seemed like Scott was always being tabbed to win a major. A twentysomething with Tiger Woods' swing and a boatload of talent, most figured it wasn't a matter of if but when he found his game and started winning on the big stage.
Only it never happened. Scott went through his twenties without winning a major and now at the age of 32, he's getting closer to the "now or never" point in his career. Scott still has some great years ahead, but you get the feeling that if he's ever going to win one, his time is likely now.
After one round it looks like Scott's up to the test. He's leading a major for the first time in his career and putting as well as we've seen in a while. The big question now is if he can keep it going over the next three days.
His lack of success on links style courses would lead you to believe he's praying for the wind to stay away for the rest of the week, but following his first round, he said the exact opposite.
"It would be fine if it blew a little bit more," Scott said. "I feel like I've played enough rounds here in the wind to feel comfortable with how the course plays. I'm kind of expecting it to blow at some point because it was perfect out here today. But my ball striking is very good at the moment, so I think it can stand up to a stern test over the weekend."
Scott's ball striking was up to the challenge on Thursday. If he shows up with the same game plan on Friday, the rest of the field could be in trouble.
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