Scott cards 68 in difficult afternoon conditions

HOYLAKE, England – In increasingly difficult conditions Adam Scott carded the afternoon’s best round on Thursday at Hoylake, a 4-under 68 that put him in a large group tied for third place.

After finishing in the top 3 the last two years at the Open Championship, the Australian knows the importance of keeping the lead within reach and thanks to a flawless front nine (31) he will begin Friday’s second round just two shots behind frontrunner Rory McIlroy.

“The weather is going to be the thing that will separate the field, we’re pretty bunched up right now,” said Scott, who eagled the fifth and survived a wayward 18th hole. “I don’t want (McIlroy) running away with it. We’ve seen him do it. He wins majors by eight (shots).”

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Scott said the focus this year has been on peaking for the Open and that his play the last two years has given him confidence he can claim the claret jug despite being on what seems to be the more difficult side of the draw.

“It was definitely tougher out there this afternoon. The wind kicked up quite a bit,” he said.

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