ADAM SCOTT is determined to prevent another Rory McIlroy runaway after staying within reach of the early British Open pacesetter.
Scott set himself up for yet another crack at the Claret Jug, carding a four-under 68 to be tied third, two shots behind outright leader McIlroy after the first round.
The Gold Coaster produced the performance of the afternoon after McIlroy’s six-under 66 came in much calmer morning conditions, setting up the prospect of a fascinating battle between two of the tournament favourites.
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Scott said it was critical to keep up early.
“He has the potential to really put his foot down,” Scott said of the world No.8.
“We’ve seen him shoot lots of low rounds and there’s nothing stopping him doing that tomorrow either.
“We’ve seen what happens, he wins majors by eight.”
American Tiger Woods had the same score as Leishman to cap an encouraging return in his first major championship since having back surgery in March.
John Senden (71), Matt Jones (71) and rank outsider Rhein Gibson (21) were the other Australians to break par, while Jason Day had a one-over 73.
Worryingly, Day sought immediate medical treatment for the thumb injury that has troubled him in recent weeks.