By Mark Lamport-Stokes
PONTE VEDRA BEACH Florida (Reuters) - A day after disclosing details of his secret wedding last month, Adam Scott gave himself an outside chance to end this week's Players Championship as world number one for the first time.
Needing to finish no worse than joint 16th on Sunday to dislodge Tiger Woods from the top spot, the Australian world number two clawed his way into the top 30 at the TPC Sawgrass by shooting a three-under-par 69 in Saturday's third round.
A great deal would need to go Scott's way in the final round for him to take over at the pinnacle of the game, but he was delighted to have that opportunity after seemingly dashing his No. 1 hopes with a dismal opening round of five-over 77.
"If I can put a good round on it tomorrow and post something good, I think I can have a high finish," Scott told reporters after covering the back nine in three-under 33 to post a three-under-par total of 213.
However, the 2013 Masters champion conceded that a top-16 finish was still very much up in the air with a host of top golfers above him on the Players Championship leaderboard.
"I don't know, it depends on other guys, too," said the 33-year-old from Adelaide. "It's just not set in stone.
"So the goal tomorrow has got to be, depending upon conditions, to try and get to double digits (under par). It's possible.
"I'll be off fairly early probably again, and I'll try and sneak up there as high as I possibly can. You never know what's going to happen out here."
KEEPING A SECRET
Asked to give more details about his private wedding to long-time girlfriend and Swedish architect Marie Kojzar in the Bahamas on April 17, Scott said many of the guests did not even know about it in advance.
"It was a week where we knew some people would be around that we wanted and we kept it a secret for a couple of months and then surprised them on the day," smiled Scott.
"We just said we were having a party, so come on over. So then they had no idea that it was going to happen.
"So that was the fun little game for me and Marie to play for a while, planning it and stuff," said the Australian, who for several years was regarded as one of the most eligible bachelors in global sport.
Asked how he had managed to keep the wedding secret over the past three weeks in an era of blanket news coverage and incessant social media commentary, Scott replied: "We just wanted it to be a secret for the day.
"We haven't told anyone to keep it a secret since, but I think people didn't want to do the wrong thing by me. So I've got them right where I want them."
Kojzar, who dated Scott long term in the early-to-mid 2000s before a split of a few years, reunited with the Australian shortly before he won his first major title at the 2013 Masters.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Larry Fine)