Adam Scott sets solid base in his quest to win a fifth Texas title at the HPE Houston Open

The first round could not be completed on a disrupted day but the Australian was T12th on the leaderboard after an opening 68 at Memorial Park.

Many Australian golfers have enjoyed venturing to the Lone Star State, but few have been quite so successful in their journeys as Adam Scott.

This week at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open the 41-year-old is aiming to win a fifth title in Texas and on Thursday he set up a base camp in the top 20.

On a day of weather disruption, which meant the first round was left incomplete, he carded a 2-under-par 68 that left him T12th on the live leaderboard, just three blows back of the three clubhouse leaders, his fellow countryman Marc Leishman, Russell Henley and Talor Gooch.

Perhaps the most impressive element of Scott's Texan CV is that the wins have all come on different courses at Houston Country Club, Las Colinas, San Antonio Oaks and Colonial.

He can make it five with further triumph this week at Memorial Park.

Is the win within him? Let's take a closer look.

Scott in the first round

He swapped five birdies with two dropped shots in a circuit which reminded everyone of two long term Adam Scott trends.

The good one is that he can be imperious from tee to green and proved it by ranking second in that particular Strokes Gained category.

The bad one is that he was 121st for SG Putting - and that might be a long term concern this week because each of the top six finishers in last year's first visit to Memorial Park ranked top 15 for Putting.

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Scott in Texas

His record is very solid, but you might also argue that it has a touch of boom or bust about it.

He's made 23 starts and claimed four victories which is a magnificent conversion rate, not least because he's made only another three top 10s.

However, 11 times he has failed to make the top 50.

Also be warned: his record when starting a Texan event with a good score is, well, patchy.

These are his scores following a first round 68 or lower: 73-80-65-76-67-71-74-70-77-65-69.

What about the four wins? In the 2007 Houston Open he opened with a 69 for T15th, in the 2008 Byron Nelson Championship with a 68 for tied fourth, at the 2010 Texas Open with a 71 for T25th, and in the 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational with a 71 for T64th.

Australians in Texas

It's not just Scott who has enjoyed success on the PGA Tour.

In the 21st century Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Jason Day, Steven Bowditch (twice) and Matt Jones have all tasted success. A grand total of 10 Aussie wins in 87 events in the state, in fact (and Leishman has won there on the Korn Ferry Tour).

And in this event alone Bruce Devlin, Bruce Crampton (twice), David Graham, Appleby (twice), Allenby, Jones and Scott himself have lifted the trophy.

Scott in 2021

For the most part, it has been a frustrating year. Early on he posted T10th at the Farmers Insurance Open, but he didn't make another top 10 until losing in a play-off at the Wyndham Championship in August.

Moreover, between those two efforts, he never ended even one round in the top 10 on the leaderboard.

That has changed in recent times, however.

A 67 to open the The Northern Trust had him back in the top 10, albeit a 76 to follow saw him miss the cut.

He then spent 54 holes in the top 10 at Wentworth in the BMW Championship before falling out of it for T14th in the final round.

And when last seen he was tied fifth at the CJ Cup, spending the last 54 holes in contention.

There has been a marked improvement in his second round performance in the latter part of the year.

In his first 11 starts, he broke 70 just four times in the second round. In his last eight, he has done so six times.

If you think he's worth taking on in the second round, his playing partners are Patrick Reed and John Huh. The former carded a 70, the latter a 72, in round one.

The three of them have played only six rounds of the same tournaments in 2021; Reed leads the count with four wins to Scott's two.

READ MORE: Marc Leishman off to Texas flyer: Cards first round 65 in Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

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