Scott, wielding short putter, leads Australian Masters

Scott revelled in benign morning conditions to lead by a stroke over fellow Australian Daniel Fox, who closed with five straight birdies in a round of 65.

Adam Scott plays an approach shot on the 17th hole.   -  Getty Images

Adam Scott said he felt he was mastering the short putter after he fired a bogey-free seven-under 64 to lead the Australian Masters at Huntingdale in Melbourne on Thursday.

Scott revelled in benign morning conditions to lead by a stroke over fellow Australian Daniel Fox, who closed with five straight birdies in a round of 65.

Last month Scott changed back to a short putter ahead of a January 1 ban on the type of anchored putters he used to win the 2013 US Masters at Augusta.

Five of Scott's seven birdies came on his back nine when the putts started to drop.

"This time when I decided to use it, I committed that this is what I'm going to do and I'm going to putt like this and work at it and try to be the best putter in the world, like I try to be in every aspect of the game," the world No.12 said after his round.

"The only way to go about it and compete at a high level is commit to something. I feel like it's in a good spot. I've putted well all the weeks that I've used it."

Scott won the Australian Masters in 2012 and 2013 but has never donned the gold jacket at the tournament's traditional home at par-71 Huntingdale.

"It's a dream start and hopefully something to build on from here," he said.

The sole non-Australian in the top 17 was American amateur Bryson DeChambeau, who hit back after a poor start to card a two-under 69 playing in the same group as Scott.