(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."