The conditions at The Arnold Palmer Invitational toughened on Friday, but that didn’t stop 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott from pulling out to a seven shot lead over the field at The Bay Hill Club and Resort. The 33 year-old Aussie has been suffering from a case of the flu, but even that was unable to shot-circuit a -4 under par 68 in the second round leading into the weekend.
Scott matched the tournament low score, as well as his personal low score on Thursday with a -10 under 62, and has matched the tournaments lowest 36-hole score set by Tom Watson and Andy Bean in 1981. At -14 under par, he will take a seven-shot lead to the first tee on Saturday, and barring any big problems, should be ranked number one in the world when the dust settles on Sunday.
With Tiger Woods out indefinitely with back problems, Scott has had his eye on the top spot ever since he slipped on the first Green Jacket ever won by an Aussie last April, and should have no problem attaining that goal this week.
Scott needs to find a way to catch the flu every week. On Friday, he averaged 303 yards off the tee, hit the fairways at an 85.71% clip, and found the greens in regulation 72% of the time. Hit the fairway, hit the green and a 1.7 putt per green will win a lot of golf tournaments. That has to be a model for consistency!
Friday, Scott made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round en route to a 4-under 68 on a breezy and difficult day — the course played nearly 1 1/2 strokes over par.
“We’re only halfway,” Scott said. “Seven shots over two days is not enough. I don’t think you can ever be leading by enough.
“The challenge might be just to start again and try and play a great 36 holes, start fresh, and try to be the leader after the next 36.”
J.B. Holmes will lead a trio of second place players at -7 under par, and is scheduled to play with Scott on Saturday. Newcomer and Puerto Rico Open Champ, Chesson Hedley will play alongside Italian Ryder Cup star, Francesco Molinari in the next to last group. Hedley had the best score in the second round, matching Scott’s 68 with one of his own.
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