Scott had his last two holes superbly for the second day in a row, posting a par 69 of 3 under par for a tally of 10 under par to place fourth heading into the weekend’s rounds on the West Course at Wentworth.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who shared the lead on Matchday 1, added a second round 68 to lead with a shot from American Laurie Canter (66) and Italy’s Francesco Laporta (65).
It had been a bizarre start to Scott’s second round, launching an outright missile at the first one 125 yards from the flag to come away with a bogey five. He then birdied the second hole like he did on day one, but landed a horror double bogey six on the third hole past a shining eagle about 10 feet on the fourth.
There were suggestions as Scott made his way to the par-3 fifth hole that the only thing missing on his card was an “ace” before coming away with a par.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Barty, who loves his golf, had been spotted by Sydneysider and former European Tour winner Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley, who now works for SKY Sports Golf and a legend among British crowds. ‘Radar’ was in a friendly chat with Barty, 25, running the full 18 holes while supporting Scott.
Riley had, in fact, shot a record 63 then on the course in the Wentworth event in 1991, ultimately won by Victorian Mike Harwood. It was the last time an Australian tasted victory at the European Tour headquarters, Rodger Davis in 1986 being the first from ‘Down Under’ to do so.
Scott, who played the event for the first time in 15 years, missed the ninth but produced an inside half of 33 that included a birdie hat trick of the 11 and while dropping a shot on 14, then a birdieed the 17th par-5.
There was a huge roar of joy from one of the biggest crowds of golfers this year in the UK, including the Open, when Scott took the 18th par 5 with his second stroke, producing what he has said to be his “swing of the day”. by clearing the small artificial stream guarding the green to brilliantly find the “dance floor” and set up an easy two-putt birdie.
“I felt good leaving the golf course because it was a little weird at first,” Scott said. “Overall it’s been a good two days of work and I’m in it.
“I feel like I’m swinging well and I’m glad you didn’t do the first three holes because it was important to get back on track quickly. I feel like I dialed my numbers right and I’m making a few good putts here and there.
“You have to take advantage of the par 5s here and I think I’ve done well these two days so overall these two rounds have been great and Wentworth didn’t look any better.
“I’ve heard good reports of all the hard work they’ve done on the course over the past few years and it’s nice to come back and enjoy the tournament again.”
After a 10 of 73 first round, Scott’s good mate Wade Ormsby rebounded brilliantly with a 6 under 66 round tied for 25th at the halfway point, with Kiwi Ryan Fox (69) making the cut on the number.
Min Woo Lee (75-74) and Scott Hend (78-71) failed to qualify for the third round.