ADAM Scott thought a magical 59 may be on the cards before settling for a breathtaking course-record 10-under-par 62 in the opening round of the Australian Open golf championship at Royal Sydney.
In a spectacular start to his quest to complete Australian golf's Triple Crown, Scott birdied his first six holes and then closed with four more consecutive birdies to leave his early-morning rivals in his wake.
So sublime was the world No.2's laser-like ball-striking that the longest birdie putt he made was from less than 15 feet.
His other nine birdies were all accrued from less than six feet.
"It was a beautiful morning, that's for sure, for golf. The front nine was ideal conditions," Scott said.
"I came out hitting great shots and didn't have much work to clean them up the first five holes and then made a nice putt on my sixth hole and I was really rolling at that point.
"It's an amazing start. I remember Greg Norman birdieing the first six holes at Royal Troon in 1989 and that was about as good a start as I can remember.
"Today obviously was very good."
So good that the Masters champion admitted he toyed with the idea of breaking 60 before cooling off mid-round with eight consecutive pars.
"I wasn't thinking about it hard but I knew it was a possibility," Scott said.
"Having birdied the six holes I'd birdied, I felt like all the opportunities were still to come.
"So if I'd kept it going and had a good run around the turn, I felt like it was on for sure, especially with seven, eight, nine to finish.
"There's a lot of opportunities if things go your way."
In the end, Scott was content with his 62, which smashed the previous course record - jointly shared by Chris Gaunt, Matt Goggin, Stephen Dartnall, Ewan Porter and Jason Norris - by three shots.
Because he started his round on the 10th tee, Scott's scorecard actually displayed 10 consecutive birdies.
"Some day I'm going to embellish that I made 10 birdies in a row," he beamed.
"But it's going to be a few years before I can get away with that."
Yet, ominously for his pursuers, the perfectionist in Scott also admitted he feared losing control during his eight-hole stretch of pars.
"I can't sit here and complain about anything but, a bit like last week in the first round, the swing wanders on a couple of shots and it did it again today," Scott said.
"It's not quite in the slot. Although I hit a lot of great shots today it's not as free flowing as the first couple of weeks (of the summer).
"The swing is a bit of hard work for me at the moment."
In the end, Scott was relieved to post his 62, which demolished the previous course record jointly shared by Chris Gaunt, Matt Goggin, Stephen Dartnall, Ewan Porter and Jason Norris all recorded at the 2008 Australian Open.
"I was really happy to finish the round off with four birdies because I felt like I'd created such a great opportunity to have a really low round out here and didn't want to waste it," he said.
The reigning Australian PGA and Australian Masters champion, who is bidding to join Robert Allenby as the only player to pull off a hat-trick of Australia's major tournaments in a season, is three in front of little-known Canadian Ryan Yip and four ahead of countryman David McKenzie.
Two-time champion Aaron Baddeley is a further shot back in a share of fourth place after carding a five-under 67, while former world No.1 Rory McIlroy birdied the last for a 69 and will enjoy the much easier morning conditions for his second round on Friday.
Jason Day signed off for a 70 playing alongside Scott, his World Cup-winning teammate from last week.
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