Defending champion Adam Scott struggled in the blustery conditions at Metropolitan Golf Club on Thursday for a 1-over 73 in the first round of the Australian Masters.

Scott, who won the Masters the past two years at other nearby sand-belt courses — Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath — began play on the back nine Thursday and shot 38, including a double-bogey on the 18th after his approach found a bunker.

He countered that with an eagle on the par-five 6th before parring his remaining three holes.

Australians Michael Wright and Stephen Allan were the early leaders with 67s, leaving Scott at least six strokes behind. Americans Boo Weekley and Kyle Stanley were playing in the afternoon.

Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, playing in Scott's group, shot 69.