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Scott sets the pace at Masters


Tournament favourite Adam Scott is sitting pretty in pole position heading into the second round of the Australian Masters at Huntingdale.

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Chasing a third Masters gold jacket in the space of four years, Scott got off to an ideal start with a bogey-free round of 64.

It left him a shot clear of West Australian journeyman pro Daniel Fox, with Australian trio Peter Wilson, Matthew Stieger and Mathew Goggin two strokes further back in a tie for third (scroll down for leaderboard updates).

Scott has ditched the long putter in favour of a short blade ahead of the January 1 worldwide ban on anchored putting.

It worked a treat on Thursday, especially on the back nine when he had five birdies.

“You always walk off feeling better, no matter who you are, if you’ve made a few putts,” said Scott, the world No.12.

“It is such a big part of the game and there is a big focus on it.

“I didn’t putt well at all this year with the long putter – my stats were horrible and it was a very frustrating year.

“So the change has actually been quite refreshing for me.”

Fox will tee off on Friday morning just a shot behind Scott.

“Right now I’m quote content with what has happened,” said the 39-year-old.

“Then you go to sleep, you wake up and the reality will probably hit me.”

Fox said he was reaping the benefits of a tougher diet and fitness regime.

“I’ve noticed it’s made my anxiety levels a lot lower,” he said.

“I don’t have the peaks and troughs now I’m drinking much more water.

“It’s not hard for me to get sloppy and start eating chocolates and drinking Diet Coke.”

Tournament drawcards Nicolas Colsaerts from Belgium (75) and Australian Presidents Cup player Steven Bowditch (77) have a lot of work to do on Friday if they are to make the halfway cut.

Australian Masters leaderboard

Leading progressive scores from the second round of the Australian Masters at Huntingdale Golf Club today (a-denotes amateur, par-71):

-9: Adam Scott (AUS) 7 holes
-6: George McNeill (USA) 18 holes, Brett Rumford (AUS) 18 holes
-5: Nathan Holman (AUS) 18 holes, Mathew Goggin (AUS) 18 holes, John Senden (AUS) 18 holes, Peter Wilson (AUS) 10 holes
-4: Cheng Tsung Pan (a-TWN) 8 holes, Matthew Millar (AUS) 18 holes, Andrew Evans (AUS) 4 holes, Alistair Presnell (AUS) 9 holes, Matthew Guyatt (AUS) 10 holes



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