Rampant Scott fires lowest round of the day
AUSTRALIA'S Adam Scott admits he feels on the cusp of a comeback from the doldrums after playing his way into weekend contention at the US PGA Tour's Northern Trust tournament in New Jersey.
In his first start since finishing third at the US PGA Championship, Scott sits just one shot off the lead after two rounds at the first event of the $US67 million FedEx Cup playoffs series.
Scott fired the lowest round on day two at the Northern Trust, a seven-under-par 65 that catapulted him to a nine-under total.
Brooks Koepka (65), who beat Scott and Tiger Woods to win the PGA Championship, tops the leaderboard at 10 under alongside Jamie Lovemark (66).
The American duo will play in the final group on day three in New Jersey.
Scott, who won this event at nearby Liberty National in 2013, will play in the penultimate pair on Saturday, local time, with world No.1 Dustin Johnson.
Without a win in more than two years, a resurgent Scott says he is playing well enough that contending at every tournament feels a fait accompli.
"Yeah, very much," a defiant Scott said on Friday.
"There's a lot more freedom and it's probably as much in the head as physically.
"At the PGA Championship, it felt like (having a chance to win) is where I'm meant to be and I played really well in that situation."
Scott believes he is seeing regular flashes of his former world No.1 self, particularly a gutsy bounce back midway through Friday's round at the Northern Trust.
After four birdies on the front nine, Scott made a sloppy bogey at the 10th, then left himself with a difficult greenside bunker shot at the 11th but made a miraculous par save.
At the driveable par-fourth 12th, a poor tee shot left him with a near-impossible pitch out of the rough, but Scott had the crowds roaring when he lobbed it high over a bunker to 1.8m and drained the tricky birdie putt.
"It was one of those shot that turns the day around and it reminds you you're playing well and this is a buzz," Scott said.
"Those moments were what I'd been waiting for all year, so it felt good I was able to pull it off."
Fellow Australian Jason Day bounced back from a lacklustre first round of even par 71 with a 66 on Friday, surging to five-under the card.
Fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith joins Day at five under having posted a 68, while Marc Leishman also shot 68 to make the even-par cut line on the number.