Adam Scott opted not to use his driver in the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and he had his reasons to leave the big stick out of his bag.
As we have seen this week, the rough is thick and juicy at Bay Hill and Scott wanted to avoid this as much as possible, stating that statistically, you find the fairway more often with a three-wood than a driver.
Although he admitted he probably lost on average 15 yards by using his 13.5 degrees TSi2 fairway wood instead, his decision was vindicated with a solid score of 4-under-par.
The 2013 Masters champion will ponder Friday's conditions which are set to be windier. On Thursday, Scott hit 50% of fairways but believes no one is consistently accurate when using their driver anyway.
Adam Scott is playing without a driver this week— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) March 3, 2022
Has a 13-degree two-wood in play as his longest club. pic.twitter.com/WHbKL8XsA2
"The basic stats are you hit more fairways with a shorter club than you do a longer club, and a 3-wood you hit more fairways than a driver. I thought it was a premium on hitting fairways here this week," Scott said after his first round.
"It’s kind of hard to figure how I’m going to get (the driver) back in the bag for tomorrow. I want to. It’s inspiring to watch Rory drive it, and I’d like to hit a couple. I’m going to hit a few on the range and see how it feels, but my game plan worked pretty good so far.
"I just don’t think anyone is particularly accurate with the driver, myself included. Once you’re up at these ball speeds, it’s just hard to be relatively accurate. Rory made it look great today... (My driver) is far from terrible.
"But I have to say since the middle of last year the confidence is really improved with the driver. I just didn’t see the advantage with it. I can get home on all the par-5s with the wood. I felt like I wasn’t really handicapping myself at all, even though I was watching a guy 50 yards in front of me.
Avoid the rough at Bay Hill. pic.twitter.com/6e5JU7IUV2— PGA TOUR LIVE (@PGATOURLIVE) March 3, 2022
"Tomorrow it looks a bit windier and I’m going to have to have a serious think, because if it was into a stiff breeze on 18, maybe I’m handicapping myself."
Currently, Scott is ranked 71st in strokes gained off the tee and 183rd in driving accuracy percentage. This could be why he chose to use a fairway wood at Bay Hill.
The Aussie finished tied fourth at the Genesis Invitational last week where he used a 9-degree Titleist TSi4 driver. His scoring is strong, but perhaps his long game often prevents him from winning his 15th PGA Tour title.