ADAM Scott’s chance at becoming world number one are seemingly blowing away with the strong gusts at the World Golf Championship event in Miami.
Scott butchered the remaining eight holes of his first round after an early morning resumption to fall seven shots off the pace.
With difficult winds whipping around, Doral’s Blue Monster course found its mongrel with world No.2 Scott finishing with a three-over-par 75 while American Patrick Reed led at four-under 68.
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Italian Francesco Molinari and Americans Harris English, Jason Dufner, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan shared second after three-under 69s.
With a chance to go to world No.1 on the line for the Hope Island golfer, it was a terrible morning as he played his eight holes in five over.
The good news in the rankings battle was current No.1 Tiger Woods, playing with the Australian, was a shot worse with a 76.
Masters champion Scott headed straight to the range to work on some issues before heading out for the second round.
“I made a mess of the first hole this morning and got out of position a couple of times but this is a little bit more demanding course than it used to be so I struggled to recover,” Scott told AAP.
“But if I can grind it back to even later today I will be in good shape. It is important that I have a good second round now. Everything is in good shape, I just have to get it done.”
Scott found the fairway with his opening shot on the 11th hole when play restarted from the rain affected Thursday but dumped his approach into a bunker and pulled an horrific lie. He bladed out to another bunker and started his day with a double bogey.
Two holes later he had another bogey after a three-putt and then compounded the error with a tee shot into the water on the 14th.
A penalty drop and another poor shot into a tree would eventually lead to his second double bogey in four holes.
The 33-year-old was steaming at this point and then was ready to explode after three-putting the next green from nine-feet when he had a makeable birdie chance.
It left him four-over for the tournament, and six-over in five morning holes.
But he rescued the round slightly with back-to-back birdies on the 16th and 17th holes only to once again three-putt the final green, for a total of 31 putts and another bogey.
Asian tour player Scott Hend ended up as leading Australian, having the luxury of finishing on Thursday with an even-par 72 to be tied 15th.
Brett Rumford finished up with an 11-over 83 to be stone dead last after his diabolical 11 on his opening hole on Thursday.