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Groundhog Day for Adam Scott at Royal Melbourne

November 24, 2013

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Adam Scott’s first visit back to Australia since his Masters win at Augusta in April has been a hectic affair. He’s won the Australian PGA, successfully defended his Australian Masters title at Royal Melbourne last week and is back on the signature sandbelt course again this week at the World Cup.

Next week, he’s on to Royal Sydney to play the Australian Open, where he’ll have Rory McIlory among others try to prevent him from winning the so-called Triple Crown of Australian majors. Robert Allenby, in 2005, is the only player to have done it, although Greg Chalmers came close last year before missing out at the Australian Open.

Twice in two weeks at Royal Melbourne, Scott has been thinking of an old Bill Murray movie.

“It’s a bit like Groundhog Day, isn’t it?” Scott said after Saturday’s round. “I see you guys every day. I drive out to Royal Melbourne, play Royal Melbourne every day and see you guys again.”

Scott can’t think of a better course to have to play two weeks in a row. When Chinese organizers decided they didn’t want to host the World Cup this year, the tournament was moved in May to Royal Melbourne because the infrastructure from the Australian Masters would be in place.

“I just find it fun to play this course,” he said. “I don’t think it’s too tiring at all. It’s not a big slog to get around here but, yeah, it’s hard work. We were talking about it out there today, even two-and-a-half footers you’ve got to concentrate on here. You don’t just go and tap them in. They’re outside the hole and they’ve got to have the right speed and it’s easy to make mistakes.”

Scott has only played a tournament at Royal Sydney once before, seven years ago at the Open.

“I like Royal Sydney too, I find that a fun course to play,” Scott said. “I’m looking forward to going back. I hear it’s in good shape although they’ve had some pretty shocking weather up there. Hopefully it’s all right. I can’t wait.”

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STREELMAN TO SYDNEY: Kevin Streelman’s first trip to Australia for the World Cup will be extended by a week — he’ll join Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy next week at Royal Sydney for the Australian Open. Then he’s off to South Africa for the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

The Australian Open will act as a bit of a homecoming for the country’s overseas players. The European Tour-based Marcus Fraser is back after finishing tied for 21st at the Dubai tour championship.

Others returning are John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Nick O’Hern, Scott Gardiner, Craig Parry, Rod Pampling and defending champion Peter Senior.

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TOUGH ROYAL MELBOURNE: Through three rounds at Royal Melbourne, only three golfers had bogey-free rounds. No one managed it in the first round, while Wu Ashun of China did it in the second and Matt Kuchar and Graeme McDowell in the third.

The par-35 front nine is playing at an average of 35.407, no doubt inflated by Welsh golfer Stuart Manley’s 11 on the par-4 fourth on Saturday. The tougher par-36 back nine on the composite course is playing at 36.537, including Adam Scott’s 9 on the 12th in the first round.

Overall, there had been only 10 eagles after 54 holes — seven of them on the par-5 second. The number of birdies — 559 — was nearly matched by the bogeys — 554. There had been 82 double bogeys and 10 dreaded “others,” including Manley and Adam Scott’s big blemishes.

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