MELBOURNE: Former world number one Adam Scott put a rustic country golf course on the map on Friday after live-streaming a nine-hole round in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Australia's northeastern state of Queensland.
With golf tours suspended amid a global sports shutdown due to the coronavirus, a rusty Scott teed off at Maleny Golf Club with his friend Wayne Perske, the course's pro-manager, giving thousands of sport-starved fans some rare live action.
Tiger Woods' made-for-TV charity match with Phil Mickelson and NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning is likely to have a far bigger audience and deliver superior production quality when they play somewhere in south Florida later this month.
But Scott's no-frills round, shot with a smartphone, would have been agreeably familiar to the millions of weekend hackers who rarely set foot on a championship course let alone mingle at the members-only golf clubs that host tour events.
Queenslander Scott, the first Australian to win the Masters with his 2013 triumph, said he had barely swung a club after returning to Australia following the U.S. Tour's suspension in March.
The lack of practice showed as he fell three strokes behind Perske after three holes, putting him in danger of losing a AUS$5 (US$3.20) wager to the former Japanese Tour regular.
"Touch is usually the first thing to go," said 39-year-old Scott, before missing the first green on his approach shot.
"I'm up against it today, I reckon."
Wind played havoc with the audio at times and the picture jerked around between shots when Scott clipped his smartphone to his golfcart and drove along some rough terrain on the hilly community course.
His game gradually smoothed out, however, allowing him to reel in his playing partner by the final hole.
"A Rolls Royce doesn't take long to warm up," Perske remarked drily.
Perske missed a long putt for the win, leaving the match tied and Scott relieved that his friend would not hold bragging rights.
(US$1 = 1.5487 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Sam Holmes)