ADAM Scott shot a magnificent 64 to set the pace on day one of the Open Championship – just like it was home from home.
It is little surprise he did so well – his grandmother used to own a house overlooking the 10th hole at Royal Lytham, while his family originally hailed from Freckleton.
Scott himself was born and raised in Australia after his parents emigrated there, and he had no shortage of local support for one of the best rounds ever witnessed at Royal Lytham.
His father’s cousins were in the crowd cheering on Scott in his bid to win a first major.
Scott said: “They live down the road in Freckleton and they were out there.”
And that’s not the end of Scott’s links with this week’s home of The Open.
Scott once carried the bag for the great Peter Thomson, five times winner of the Claret Jug and successful at this course back in 1958.
Scott has given himself every opportunity of emulating Thomson after a round that equalled the Championship best round here, a 64 by Tom Lehman, the champion in 1996.
“Peter Thomson was the first pro I ever carried for, actually when I was ten. He’s always had a lot of advice for me. He always encourages me in his own way.”
Speaking of his fabulous 64, Scott said: “I was not really expecting it to play like this at all. It was just like a nice walk in the park and it was not what we’ve experienced in the practice rounds.
“I am sure there are going to be some weather elements thrown at us in the next three days, so I am just going to have to knuckle down to handle that. But I am confident. My ball-striking is good. “I think I can get around no matter what the conditions are.”
Scott’s bag-man is New Zealander Steve Williams, who was long associated with Tiger Woods until their much-publicised split.
And Scott paid tribute to Williams’ contribution. “He wanted me to go to that first tee today like it was the 72nd hole and I needed three to win.
“He wanted me to switch myself on from the first hole. Those little gee-ups are good for me.
“I can feed off it because I can cruise a little bit too much when I’m on the course.”
Scott said he was more than happy with his putting.
“It has improved out of sight. Two years ago I was 180th on the Tour and now I am pretty good. It makes a big difference to my scorecard.”
Scott added that he had not really allowed himself to contemplate scoring the almost mythical 62, a total never recorded in a major.
“I was waiting to use the bathroom going to the 17th tee, and I looked at the leaderboard and realised it was a par 70.
“I probably realised then that I wasn’t going to be the guy to shoot 62.
“I got rid of that thought quickly and got on playing the 17th. Unfortunately, I dropped a shot at the last.”
It was a day when pretty well everything else slotted into place perfectly.