Adam Scott has fired a sizzling course-record 10-under-par 62 to seize command of the Australian Open golf championship at Royal Sydney.
In a spectacular start to his quest to complete Australian golf’s Triple Crown, Scott birdied his first six holes en route to his record in the opening round.
After cooling with a run of eight straight pars mid-round, Scott closed with another four consecutive birdies to smash the previous course mark of 65 – shared by five players – by three shots.
Starting on the 10th hole on Thursday, Scott made the turn in six-under 30 after wowing his gallery with a breathtaking display of ball striking.
So much in control was he that the world No.2’s longest birdie putt in his first five holes was less than two metres.
Scott’s extraordinary opening evoked memories of his childhood idol Greg Norman making six straight birdies to begin his final round of the 1989 British Open.
Scott’s succession of birdies came to an end on his seventh hole when he was unable to two-putt from about eight metres on the 535m par-5 16th.
The Masters champion drove into the left fairway bunker and was only able to advance his second shot a short distance before cursing himself for not knocking it close with his approach.
He then got up and down from a trap to save par on his eighth hole after shooting over the back on the par-3 17th.
Scott made another scrambling par on the 18th, his ninth hole, after pulling his approach left, and lipped out for birdie on the next hole.
The reigning Australian PGA and Australian Masters champion, who is bidding to join Robert Allenby as the only player to pull off a hat-trick of Australia’s major tournaments in a season, had to wait more than two hours before collecting his seventh birdie of the day.
He knocked his tee shot to a metre on the 143m par-3 sixth and tapped in for birdie before monstering a 305-metre drive to the middle of the fairway on the par-5 seventh.
Scott safely two-putted to get to eight-under and then all but assured himself of the course record – previously shared by Chris Gaunt, Matt Goggin, Stephen Dartnall, Ewan Porter and Jason Norris – with another birdie on the penultimate hole of his round.
He iced his sublime round with another approach to inside a metre on his 18th hole.
Scott’s playing partner and World Cup-winning teammate Jason Day was among those left in his wake, the three-time major runner-up carding a first-round 70.
Former world No.1 Rory McIlroy was among those playing on Thursday afternoon.