Adam Scott felt sick and thought about withdrawing before the start of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Scott is glad he didn't after shooting 62 in the first round Thursday to tie an API 18-hole record -- the lowest round in 30 years at Bay Hill. Greg Norman shot 62 in 1984 and Andy Bean 62 in 1981.
Scott, 33, the defending Masters champion, held a four-shot lead over Gonzolo Fdez-Castano at mid-afternoon. For shots back were Brandt Snedeker, Morgan Hoffmann and Paul Casey, who shot 67.
Scott's amazing round was highlighted by eagles on Nos. 4 and 16 and he played the par 5s in six-under under near-ideal conditions.
"Obviously, I'm really thrilled, but the putter got really hot," he said. "It was one of those days where the hole was like a bucket."
Scott, the No. 2 ranked player in the world behind Tiger Woods, had a chance to break the API record held by nine different players. But Scott had a bogey on 18 -- he started on the back nine at Bay Hill -- and parred his last three holes.
Scott has been struggling the last few days with flu-like symptoms.
"Just a bit under the weather," he said. "I can't complain."
His 62 gave the tournament a shot in the arm after Tiger Woods, the eight-time champion, withdrew before the even because of back spasms.
Scott hadn't played in Arnie's tournament since 2009, having dropped it from his schedule. His best finish was a tie for third in 2004, but the other five times he has played here, his best finish was 25th (2003). He missed the cut in 2006 and 2009.
"I had a few frustrating years here and left it off the schedule," he said.
Scott said a change in course set-up and advice from his caddy -- Steve Williams, Tiger Woods' former caddy -- helped him make his way back to Bay Hill. And Thursday, he was glad he returned.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun