After Brooks Koepka set the Black Course record of 63 on Thursday in the opening round of the PGA Championship, Adam Scott found himself staring that number down during the second round on Friday.
The Australian with the sweetest of swings came to the par-3 17th hole at 7 under par for the day, having started with four birdies in the first five holes that made the cups look more like barrels. He hit it his tee shot to 22 feet on the 17th, lagged his first putt but missed a two-footer for a three-putt bogey, his only blemish on the round.
On the gettable par-4 18th, he hit a poor tee shot into the junk on the right and was fortunate to get up and down for par.
Did he give any thought to potentially setting a record 62? As he was leaving the 15th green, the idea popped into his head.
“I thought, you know, 16, 17, 18 today are actually very gettable with the tee up on 17,” Scott said. “I mean, it was a fleeting thought. Not happening at the end of the day, and in the end I was very happy to get it up-and-down for 64 on the last. Look, overall, you shoot 64 in a major, you’ve had a great day and I did today.”
Scott is one of the most accomplished players in the world, having won 13 times on the PGA Tour, including the 2013 Masters. He uses a long putter and in winning the Masters was the first player to do so with the long stick. When the USGA and R&A ruled that long putters could not be anchored to the body starting in 2016, Scott went back and forth from conventional putter to the long putter and decided to stay with the long putter since last season.
Scott’s 6-under score on Friday pulled him into a tie for second with Jordan Spieth, a whopping seven shots behind leader Koepka.
“I feel like my game’s in a really great place,” Scott said. “If I can get out of my own head a little bit and just play and swing, I think good results are there. So that’s what I tried to do today.”
As for catching Koepka over the final 36 holes, Scott sort of shrugged when considering the prospect.
“Hey, if the guy can just keep doing that for another two days, then there’s not much you can do,” Scott said. “But I think someone, hopefully me, will chip away tomorrow and sneak up in the right direction.”