Nigtmare start for Scott

US Tour

The number one spot was within reach for Adam Scott when he teed off at the Players Championship, but 18 holes later and he appeared to have blown his chance.

Scott could replace Tiger Woods at the top of the rankings by finishing no worse than joint 16th at the unofficial fifth major, but he looks set to struggle to even make the cut come Friday evening after carding a five-over-par 77.

The Australian lies tied 133rd – 14 shots behind first-round leader Martin Kaymer – after carding three double bogeys, two of them coming on the final two holes after his tee shots went into the water, and two bogeys at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday.

“It was not the finish I needed,” the 2013 Masters champion said. “To hit two in the water at the end is a bit of a sin around here but it happens so I just have to go out and have a good round in the morning.

“I played all right but didn’t putt very well and compounded that with poor shots on the last couple of holes. At a course like this, it can get away from you that quick.”

Talk before the tournament centred around Scott, Swede Henrik Stenson and Americans Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar being able to replace Woods as world number one, but the Australian insisted he was just thinking getting on the course.

“I haven’t really thought about it (No.1) at all, it’s not been my focus,” he said

“I really believe it’s part of the process. I didn’t tee off today thinking about No. 1 because there are 72 holes before that could happen.”

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