Scott plummets down the leaderboard

Adam Scott’s defence of his Masters title took a hammer blow on Saturday after a disastrous front nine saw him drop down the leaderboard.

The Australian started with rounds of 69 and 72 and was tied third at the start of the third round at Augusta National, but a four-over-par 76 saw him drop to a tie for 16th on Saturday.

The front nine doesn’t make pretty reading for Scott as he started with a bogey and then carded a double-bogey at the par-three fourth with another bogey following at the fifth. Although he picked up a shot at the eight, he undid the hard work with another dropped shot at the ninth.

The back nine was a bit more solid with only one bogey and a birdie at the 17th.

“I’m going to have to come out and play a really good front nine. That’s my goal at this point,” he said.

“I’ve just got to look at the front nine, and if I can shoot a few under on the front, you never know what can happen here on the back.”

He added: “I just fought really hard but I couldn’t get any of those early shots back. I’m disappointed, but a good round tomorrow could go a long, long way.

“It’s not the end of the world. There are a lot of people between me and the leaders.

“But, like I said, if I can play a good front nine, anything can happen on the back, and it would be fun to post a number and sit in the clubhouse and watch.”