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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Golf: Jason Day and Adam Scott among a quartet of Aussies off to hot starts in Houston as Masters preparations lift a gear

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Jason Day made a “step in the right direction” a week out from the Masters, storming into contention on the opening day of the Houston Open as Adam Scott also made a comfortable return to tournament golf with fans finally allowed back in.

Playing his first tournament since being diagnosed with COVID-19 last month, Scott was paired with world number one Dustin Johnson, who has also missed two tournaments after a coronavirus positive.

The Aussie said it was “fun to have a bit of volume out on the golf course” and felt comfortable around spectators despite not knowing how he contracted coronavirus last month.

Scott, who had to isolate for 10 days and couldn’t practise, carded an opening round 68 to be three shots behind leader Brandt Snedeker and was hopeful he could get on the upward trend needed going to Augusta.

“I got off to a bad start and I didn‘t panic and hung in there and hit lots of good shots, made a couple putts. You know, I can see this week is going to be one of those long weeks on the golf course. It’s a pretty relentless golf course,” he said.

“If I can see a little bit of improvement in the next three days, I might have a chance here this week and I’ll feel good about going to next week.”

Day went one shot better than his fellow Aussie, and a week out from the Masters, where he has three top-10 finishes and has never missed the cut, is heating up at the right time.

“Well, I think I drove it half decently well. I mean, when I did miss it, I missed it in pretty good spots, and then out of the rough I hit some nice iron shots to at least give myself a chance at getting up and down,” he said.

“I think it‘s just a good step in the right direction.”

Rising Aussie star Cameron Davis continued his good end-of-year form, also shooting a 67 to be the clubhouse leader before Snedeker finished well.

Davis said it was good to hear applause, big or small, when he hit a good shot, with 2500 fans let in to the event.

“For me personally, I think the only shot I had fans on was maybe on the third hole, ” he said.

“When you do hit a good shot in front of people, it feels a little better than when you hear crickets after you hit it close.”

Originally published as Crowds better than ‘crickets’ as fans, and Scott, return

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