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Scott struggles to open Aussie Masters

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Defending champion Adam Scott struggled in the blustery conditions at Metropolitan Golf Club on Thursday for a 1-over 73, six strokes behind a group of four of his countrymen who led the Australian Masters by a stroke after the first round.

Scott, who won the Masters the past two years at other sand-belt courses - Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath - began play on the back nine Thursday and shot 38, including a double-bogey on the 18th after his approach found a bunker. But an eagle on the par-5 sixth helped move him back up the leaderboard.

"A strong northerly (wind) from the get-go was always going to make it tough," Scott said. "I played pretty well but didn't take any of my chances. I'm a little behind the eight-ball at the moment but it's nothing a good round tomorrow won't fix."

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Money Leaders: PGA
Rank Player Earnings
1 B.Watson $1,400,000
2 S.Bae $1,346,000
3 R.Streb $1,328,963
4 R.Moore $1,328,500
5 B.Martin $1,219,833
6 C.Hoffman $1,116,475
7 T.Clark $899,435
8 K.Streelman $764,550
9 N.Taylor $756,663
10 S.Stefani $724,190
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Tour Stops This Week
LPGA:  CME Group Tour Championship
European:  DP World Tour Championship, Dubai

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