AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — For some, the burden of defending a championship can be overwhelming.
For Adam Scott, it was pure joy — at least for a day.
With a green jacket already in his collection, Scott felt a sense of calm that carried over to the golf course. The result: a 3-under 69 that got the laid-back Aussie off to just the kind of start he was looking for at the Masters.
Now, to keep it going for three more days.
“Having won last year, in some ways, has taken a little pressure off me,” Scott said. “I kind of felt like what was the worst than can happen? I’m still going to be a Masters champion.”
Bill Haas was leading a major for the first time, shooting a 68 Thursday that left him one stroke ahead of the last guy to win the Masters (Scott), the guy who won it two years ago (Bubba Watson), and the guy Watson beat in a playoff (Louis Oosthuizen).
On a warm, sunny morning, Kevin Streelman had a couple of early birdies to crack the second-round leaderboard Friday. Oosthuizen stumbled a bit with a bogey on the fourth hole, while Watson was getting ready to tee off. Haas and Scott have afternoon tee times.