Adam Scott was hopeful his three closing birdies could be the kick-start to his week after he fired an opening 68 at the Australian PGA Championship.
The home hope has finished first and second on his last two visits to RACV Royal Pines Resort and once again arrived as one of the favourites.
High winds led to the tournament being won at level par last season but with calm conditions greeting the early starters on Thursday, low scores were a possibility and Scott got in on the act.
Starting on the back nine, he showed some intent early, getting onto the par five 12th in two and then rolling in a 40-foot putt to jump out to two under. A bogey then came on the 18th before he birdied the seventh, eighth and ninth to catapult himself up the leaderboard.
"It didn’t look pretty at the start but somehow I was two under after three and then hung in there and finished well," he said.
"Maybe that momentum off the last three holes is something to carry over for the rest of the week.
"There was lots of good solid stuff and a quick start and a quick finish adds up to a good score.
Maybe that momentum off the last three holes is something to carry over for the rest of the week - Adam Scott
"I was just treading water for a while but those holes, it was never the perfect number. I was cautious of going over the green in between clubs and you just have to be patient and it paid off, because I birdied the last three.
"Hopefully, that was our best conditions, maybe, this morning. It was lovely and the wind hadn’t really picked up that much at all, so it was very manageable.
"I expect tomorrow afternoon to be a lot tougher and like I’ve said for a couple of days, you know you’re going to have to hit a lot of greens this week, because chipping is very difficult."
New Zealander Ryan Fox went one better than Scott with a 67 and he was also glad to make the best of the calmer early conditions.
"I'm really happy," he said. "It’s a tricky course, I think we’ve probably got the best of the conditions but it was still enough breeze out there to make it difficult.
"I played really solid, no bogeys today and made a couple of putts, which was nice.
"I think every afternoon is probably going to be a little breezy like it’s been earlier in the week and makes it really tough to score.
"As soon as the golf course dries out it gets really tough to hit it on the greens and there is a real penalty for missing some of the greens around here. So it’s nice to be in this position to start off with but it’s going to be a little bit of a grind for the rest of the week, I think."
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