By Nick Mulvenney
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A seven-under-par 65 on the second day of your national open would be a dream round for most players but the disgruntled look on Adam Scott's face at Royal Sydney on Friday told the story of a man with his own standards.
In a sizzling back-nine charge, the world number seven picked up six shots with an eagle and four birdies to soar up the Australian Open leaderboard and move back into contention for the Stonehaven Cup.
The former U.S. Masters champion's putting might have been a major improvement on Thursday's display but, having missed a five-footer for another birdie at the last, Scott was clearly thinking only about the ones he left out on the course.
"I made a few putts which was nice. I'm not even going to say I've got a sour taste in my mouth after 65. I'm very happy with 65, but I can always do better," he told reporters, his demeanor betraying his true feelings.
"I hit a lot of good shots. I played a solid last nine holes. Unfortunately, it took me 27 to get that kind of good golf out of me, so hopefully there's 36 good holes coming up."
Scott claimed back-to-back wins in North America at the Honda Classic and WGC-Cadillac Championship in February and March this year, his first since he was forced to relinquish his long putter.
The 36-year-old arrived in Sydney on the back of a lay-off and his first nine holes on Friday featured a mixed bag of three birdies and two bogeys that brought him back to par for the tournament after a first-round 73.
Scott thought at six-under he might still be as many as four shots off the pace at the midway point of the tournament and the missed putts still rankled even after his sublime back nine.
"I feel like I wasted three or four short ones over two days," he added.
"That's annoying because they count just the same as all the good shots, so it is a little frustrating but I'm trying not to let it bother me too much."
The memory of his putt for eagle at the par-five seventh hole, his 16th, after a brilliant four iron took him to within five feet of the pin, did bring a smile to his face, however.
"I had just an inside right putt and I hit a nice putt there," he grinned, ruefully.
"It's funny, because I made a lot of nice putts today, yet I missed a couple of short ones. I should focus on the putts I made."
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)