“I knew it’s got to be around the number,” Scott said. “I think it was the number overnight and it’s not windy enough for my liking so I’m going to need a bit of luck this afternoon.

“I was just pleased to make some good swings out there today. It was much, much better than [Thursday ] and hopefully I didn’t shoot myself in the foot with a bad round. I would like to play two more rounds and keep working on this.

“I adjusted my posture this morning on the range and changed the path of my swing a little bit. It was a good move because I was really struggling out there on [Thursday]. It was better. It wasn’t feeling amazing – it was hard work out there – but it definitely felt better.”

Former US Masters hero Garcia won’t be around on the weekend after a three-over 74 left his languishing at two-over for the tournament.

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Scott and Garcia’s playing partner, world No.14 Paul Casey (-9), heads the tournament mid-way through the second round after reeling off four straight birdies to post a six-under 65.

He tops a continental leaderboard with South African Louis Oosthuizen (-8), a key cog of the International side’s Presidents Cup assault against Tiger Woods’ Americans, in a tie for second with American Cameron Tringale.

Asked if he was still a chance to win the tournament if he made the cut, Scott said: “It would be tough. I would need a lot of things to go my way, a fast start and a windy afternoon … stranger things have happened. If I get well under par if I get to play again then I can take a bit of confidence into next week.”

Players enjoyed far better conditions than those which they suffered through on Thursday as thick smoke blanketed the course.



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