Scott fires 64 as he looks to make amends in Memphis

Adam Scott recorded his lowest score all year of a 6-under 64 as he looks to make amends for letting victory slip away ten years ago at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Scott turned around a no-frills opening round score of 71 with an eagle and five birdies in hot and humid conditions on the TPC Southwind course in suburban Memphis, Tennessee.

Adam Scott Adam Scott (Credit: Anthony Powter)

It is the Queenslander’s lowest score since last November when he shot a similar 64 but on the par 72 layout that hosts the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.

Scott capped his Memphis second round landing a 6-iron from 229-yards out at the par five 16th to 18-feet on the back edge of the green from where he holed the putt.

It was one of just 28 putts for Scott and less than a week before he tees-up in the U.S Open.

“Well, I was striking it really good yesterday and struck it better today and it was just a matter of staying patient,” he said.

“There are a couple of tricky holes early on and you can get yourself in some funny little positions around the greens here if you’re not on the green. So, it was not quite the start I had in mind.”

“But then it all started opening up for me and I played a really nice back nine and got a couple to go in late. If I made a few more putts, it would have been a real special round. But nice that my ball striking is kind of stepping up because that’s been the only thing that’s concerned me this year really.”

“And the highlight of the round was clearly on 16 with an eagle for sure. I hit a 6‑iron and it was a nice time to make a putt because I just kind of spent the whole back nine missing 10‑footers. To get one to go in just makes you feel that confidence.”

“And then I got it in there close again to 10 feet on the next and made it. It’s kind of just reward for the way I struck it, and golf has a habit of working itself out like that.”

However, it has been 10 years since Scott last was here in Memphis and he said he can still recall vividly the week, and what would may have been the seventh PGA Tour title that slipped through his fingers.

Scott shot scores of 67, 66 and 68 to lead the field by three shots with a round to finish before imploding in shooting a horror 75 to eventually share 7th place and nine shots adrift of American Woody Austin who had been four behind Scott heading into day four.

“I changed my schedule a fair bit this year, especially leading into the majors and that is why I have added Memphis this year just as I am contesting the Scottish Open the week prior to The Open,” he said.

“Although when I was last here I had a bit of a nightmare on Sunday when I was leading the tournament 10 years ago, it left a good impression in my mind.”

“There was no question that I knew it would be a good thing for me to come back here this year, a golf course that will suit me well and will challenge me.”

And if Scott needed any extra incentive in clinching a 14th victory he can find that by looking at the “Former Champions” plaque located close to the practice putting green.

Appearing as winner of the Memphis event 20-years ago was Greg Norman.

Norman birdied the closing three holes in a final day off 66 to deny American Dudley Hart who had ended his round over an hour earlier.

And it was the last time this journalist was in Memphis to cover the St. Jude Classic and I can remember also vividly Norman being asked what he was aiming for in lining up his birdie putt on 18.

“The E in FedEx”, said Norman referring to a sponsor banner on one of the grandstands.

It naturally prompted a follow-up question.

“Which E, Greg?”

Norman ever‑quickly responded “The first E”.