Scott: Strong start could be crucial

April 11, 2014
Golf - PGA - Bet Now at Bet365

Defending champion Adam Scott felt that a good start was essential for his bid to retain the Green Jacket at the Masters at Augusta, having carded an opening 69.

Scott's fine opening round left him one shot back of leader Bill Haas, with the Australian alongside Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen on 3-under par - with Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, 9.00 to triumph at Augusta again.

And Scott, who is now 6.00 to successfully defend his Masters title, said after a strong showing: "Very pleased to get off to a good start and there's no doubt winning the Masters last year had me a little more comfortable on the first tee than I've ever been in the past.

"Getting off to a good start in a Major is huge, because I think they are the hardest tournaments to chase.

"Birdies aren't that easy to come by usually at Majors and if you're five, six or 10 back after the first round it's a hard three days in front of you to peg it back.

"My goal teeing off was to play three good days and get myself in contention and give myself a chance like I did last year."

However, three-time Masters champions Phil Mickelson, now 56.00 to secure a fourth Green Jacket, was left hoping just to make the cut after opening up with a 4-over par 76.

Mickelson admitted after a round marred by a triple bogey at seven: "I've got a lot of work to do just to make the cut. So I've got some issues."

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