AAP Golf

Hot Scott chasing Kuchar at Riviera

By AAP Newswire

Adam Scott says the hunger to compete has returned, having blitzed his way into contention after two rounds at the Tiger Woods-hosted US PGA Tour event in Los Angeles.

Scott admits he longed to "get back out there" while watching golf on TV last month and has hit the ground running at LA's Riviera Country Club - where he is three shots off the pace.

Scott, a former winner at Riviera and twice runner-up, reeled off seven birdies during a bogey-free 64 that catapulted him to six-under overall.

"Something about (Riviera) reminds me a lot of golf in Australia, too," he said. "I just feel very comfortable every time I'm here."

American Matt Kuchar (69) is the 36-hole leader at nine-under, while world No.1 Rory McIlroy (67), Harold Varner (68) and Wyndham Clark (68) are two shots behind.

Scott's 64 was highlighted by a stunning 3-wood he hit from 290 yards that settled 13 feet from the hole at the par-5 17th, which set up an easy two-putt birdie.

"Yeah, that was a great swing and a great shot. It was everything I had," Scott said.

This week is Scott's 2020 debut and first start since a drought-breaking win at the Australian PGA Championship in December.

The world No.14 watched the US Tour event at California's Torrey Pines course from home and said it had him chomping at the bit to continue his hot form.

Scott contended in three of golf's four majors and recorded nine top-10s last year, including two second-place finishes, and said he knew he was ready to return after his seven-week break in Australia when watching Torrey Pines.

"I like to starve myself a little bit of competition and make sure that I'm ready to come back out," Scott said.

"I started feeling like I should start playing around Torrey Pines. Once I saw that on television, I knew I would be definitely ready for (Riviera CC)."

Scott also produced a short-game masterclass, saving par all five times he missed a green in regulation.

He was hot with the putter, needing just 26 strokes on the greens, including five back-nine birdies.

"I scrambled well today; my chipping and my putting was very solid out there," Scott said.

Event host Woods failed to capitalise on his solid opening round with a disappointing 73 that dropped the 15-time major winner to even-par.

Also even with the card is Marc Leishman (72), who made the 36-hole cut by one shot.

Leishman and Scott are the only Australians to make the weekend.

Compatriots Aaron Baddeley (73, two-over), Jason Day (76, two-over), Cameron Smith (72, four-over) and Matt Jones (70, seven-over) all missed the cut.