Adam Scott hopes class and experience will prevail after snatching a share of the Australian Open halfway lead with a spectacular finish to his course-record-equalling second round.
Scott, who was a delight to the large crowd, drained a putt from the green for eagle on Saturdays final hole to ice a perfect seven-under-par score of 63 at Victoria Golf Club.
The former world No.1 rose to eight under to co-lead the championship with Victorian David Micheluzzi.
Micheluzzi is a Melbourne sandbelt specialist, second on the Australasian Tour Order of Merit, having won last months WA PGA. After backing up his Thursday 63 with a second-round 71 at Kingston Heath, Micheluzzi will not be a weekend pushover.
Scott was thrilled to make up six shots on No.556 after his disgusting , first-round 70 at Kingston Heath, which featured four bogeys as well as a double.
Scott stated that Its a good day, a lot of solid stuff, and I just worked my own way around the course.
There is a lot of trouble out there and I was aware every hole, but I managed to stay out most of today, whereas yesterday, I was in it most days.
So I turned it around and am now in a good place going into the weekend.
The 2009 Australian Open champion is a hot favourite to win the Stonehaven Cup for the second time.
He is the best-ranked player in his field and the most accomplished on the leaderboard.
Scott and Micheluzzi enjoy three shots buffer from their closest pursuers.
Haydn Barron, a compatriot from New Zealand, and Josh Geary, a New Zealander, share third place at five under with the lesser-known American Gunner Wiebe.
Scotts US PGA Tour peer Cameron Percy of Belgium, Pierre Pineau of France, and Nicolai Hojgaard from Denmark are all back. The Open will conclude at Victoria GC over two rounds.
Scott, however, isnt counting his chickens yet. He has been there before but not quite finished the job.
He said, Hopefully, I can kinda continue running in this direction tomorrow.
If I can play well tomorrow, and anyone else can come along with me, and there are only a few guys in the group, that would be a great position to be for Sunday.
Then maybe I have some benefit from experience.
After Saturdays third round, only the top 30 players will be allowed to continue. This was done in order to accommodate the women’s event being held simultaneously for the first time ever in Open history.
Cameron Smith will be one of those who try to make up ground after miraculously avoiding half-way.
After posting a second consecutive one-over-par round, the world No.3 learned six hours later that he had made it to the top of the number. He did this after a bunch of Friday afternoon starters pushed themselves out of the tournament.
Smiths season is still ongoing, but Marc Leishman of LIV Golf can put his clubs aside for the year.
Following a second round 73 at Kingston Heath in the second round, Leishman missed by one shot.