Scott slides down Australian Open leaderboard with 73
SYDNEY (AP) A ''flat'' and tired Adam Scott shot a 2-over 73 at the Australian Open on Friday, a round that allowed him to make the cut but likely did little to help him end his 2015 victory drought.
Scott, playing for the sixth time in eight weeks, was right on the cutline when he finished his second round just before midday Friday, but he eventually was two inside the 4-over cut mark. He was tied for 34th and nine strokes behind second-round leader Matt Jones.
He teed off for the third round Saturday morning with playing partner Pan Cheng-tsung of Taiwan, nearly 2 1-2 hours before the leading groups that included defending champion Jordan Spieth, who trails Jones by four strokes.
The winner of at least one tournament every year since 2001, Scott said he failed to take advantage of better scoring conditions and softer greens on The Australian Golf Club course. He three-putted twice for bogeys and didn't make a single birdie, admitting he couldn't remember when he last had a round without one.
''I can't recall off the top of my head, normally I can sneak one in,'' said Scott, managing a smile.
''I just misjudged the pace of the greens for most of the day,'' Scott added. ''I just couldn't get myself to hit the putt hard enough and when the greens slow down I tend to struggle, and I did again today.''
Scott, who started on the back nine Friday, three-putted from 15 feet on the par-3 11th, and did the same on the par-4 sixth. He also missed makeable birdie putts on the 12 and 14th holes to make the turn in 1-over 37.
On the eighth hole - his second-last of the day - he left a birdie attempt about a foot short, the fifth or sixth time he failed to get the pace right. Even longtime former caddie Steve Williams, back on his bag for this tournament, couldn't offer him any assistance.
Scott was asked whether Williams had managed to give him an ''ear bash'' over his poor putting, and he responded with a laugh.
''Not really, I could have given him one though (for) getting wet on the 14th,'' he said, referring to the fact Williams didn't have an umbrella ready when a brief shower hit the course.
He still rates himself a chance on the weekend.
''I've just got to play two good rounds,'' he said. ''I think I can shoot a couple of mid-60s; it's really do-able if you play good and I've just got to put it together.''
Scott is actually winless in 18 months - his last tournament victory at the Colonial in Texas came a week after he became No. 1 in May 2014. He held the top ranking for 11 weeks until August of last year, and entered the Australian Open this week ranked No. 12.
The 35-year-old Scott still has a chance for a tournament win if he doesn't do something special on the weekend in Sydney.
He's entered to play the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where he lives, in early December, although it is an unofficial money event on the PGA Tour because of its limited field.