AT&T National: Adam Scott Cards 66, Military Parks Tank on Course

AT&T National: Adam Scott Cards 66, Military Parks Tank on Course

We're officially off and running at the AT&T National. Two men, Adam Scott and Hunter Haas, are tied for the 18-hole lead at 4-under-par, while a whole host of others are in contention and in red numbers. Unfortunately for those pulling for local favorites Sean O'Hair and Jim Furyk, neither man would find himself on the low-side of par after day one. The two currently reside at a combined thirteen-over-par.

Comments from co-leader Adam Scott and our picks for the best spots to camp out on the course after the jump...
Though Aussie Adam Scott may not have the local ties or, let's say, a membership at Aronimink (I'm looking at you, O'Hair), he is nonetheless familiar with the golf course. After draining a fifteen-footer for birdie on 18, Scott made his way to the media tent to discuss his own relationship with 83-year-old Donald Ross design. A participant in the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur, an event also held on the grounds of Aronimink, Scott fondly recalled his experience as a seventeen-year-old in unfamiliar territory.

"I didn't know much at all about the style of golf courses in the Northeast of America back then. So, coming here to play was a real treat...I remember [it was] a lot more tree-lined back then. There were a lot of trees, I believe, taken out since...It was a good course back then, too. It was probably the toughest course I had seen at that point. The's like going to a U.S. Open that Junior Amateur with the way they set it up. It was pretty tough. It still is. [Laughs] I think I lost pretty early back then."

If his memory of the course didn't help him to a share of the lead Thursday, perhaps it was his caddie. Steve Williams, the usual bag man for Tiger Woods, has been hanging with Scott the past few week as Woods' continues rehabilitation on his knee and Achilles tendon. To the benefit of those in attendance, particularly those in the photography business, "Stevie" doesn't seem nearly as hostile when he isn't with Woods. Scott and co-leader Hunter Hass tee off Friday morning at 8:15 a.m. and 8:37 a.m., respectively.

Should you be out there to take in their opening tee balls, we've put together a list of some of the better spots to hang out during the day at Aronimink. Sadly, the view from one of our favorite spots in 2010—the white fence behind the 9th tee—has been somewhat obstructed in 2011. Where before you could see both the par-5 9th and par-3 17th, members of the gallery now get a view of a massive freaking tank. It's been parked in that location so it may reside next to the Lockheed Martin chalet, a special tent for members of the military to take in the action. Is the tank cool? Yes. Is it in the way? Yes.

Rather than continue on about the tank, we'll simply do our best to pitch back into the fairway and make a four. In no particular order, here's our recommendations for the best spots camp out on the course. Many of the locations below represent the most convenient sites for accessing the greatest number holes in the shortest amount of time. Naturally, as the tournament progresses and the crowds increase, so will the traffic in many of these locales. As such, we've tried to mix a few gems that were left untouched from last year.

(1) The double-greens at 8 and 10. The green complexes of the par-3 8th and par-4 10th back right up against one another and are only separated by a small patch of fairway. The trees to the left of the 8th provide some shade while you get to watch the pros take aim from the top of a hill more than 240-yards away. Likewise, over on 10, the hole's front left pond makes for an entertaining moment or two. This is one of the most popular spots on the course and is usually the busiest area throughout each round.

(2) The bleacher seats behind the 17th green. The par-3 17th is one of, if not the best hole on the golf course. At 215-yards, the players are forced to either bail out to the right side of the green or flirt with a massive lake that drowns every golf ball short or left. This is, without question, the number-one spot to lock down come Sunday.

(3) The bleacher seats behind 18. Consider the rationale for sitting on 17, and then make the connection that the tournament ends on 18. Both spots are obviously prime, and that much harder to secure as the week progresses. Fortunately, you shouldn't have much trouble getting in either during the opening rounds.

(4) The shaded area behind the 14th green. This is particularly clutch. Not only are you under the cover of more than 100-year-old oaks, but you're within steps of both the 15th tee and 16th green. Previously, you could have also used this location to run over to the aforementioned fence behind 9. Now...there's a tank. Hooray!

(5) The rough behind the 15th green. Considering that its just paces from the 12th green and 13th and 16th tee boxes, you might ask, "why the hell is no one here?" Well, because it's kind of far and people are lazy. If you're up for the trek, it's a solid spot.

(6) The hill to the right of the 7th green. The steep hill makes for a semi-stadium effect, with each spectator clearly seeing over anyone below. Plus, the view from the 8th tee box, just a few paces to the right, is absolutely spectacular. This, like the whole golf course quite frankly, is crowded come Sunday.

(7) The driving range. It's, uh, pretty boss.

There are obviously more areas we could have included, but we'll let you find those of your own. We'll be back tomorrow with a rundown of the insane prices in the merchandise tent and other notes from the course. 'Til then.

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

The crowd erupted as Joel Embiid stepped to the free throw line. They chanted a phrase Embiid has been repeating for the past two years, a fitting welcome to his NBA debut.

“That was great,” Embiid said after the Sixers' 103-97 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday (see Instant Replay). “That’s my motto, 'Trust the process.'”

After two years of rehabbing foot injuries, Embiid has his first regular-season game behind him. Embiid scored a team-high 20 points, shooting 6 for 16 from the field, 1 for 3 from long range and 7 for 8 from the line. He also recorded seven rebounds, two blocks, four turnovers and four fouls in over 22 minutes. 

“The beginning I was nervous, but once you make that first shot, it just goes away,” he said. “The fans were so into the game that it was fun. I love having fun.”

Sixers head coach Brett Brown enjoyed watching Embiid on the court as much as the big man liked being on it. Brown has seen the 7-foot-2 center grow and develop during his rehab. Finally, he was able to utilize his versatile skills in a real game setting.

“I can't say this loud enough,” Brown said. “For the city to be rewarded with a player that we all understand has unique gifts, special gifts, for him to go through all the things he has been through and play like he did on opening night, the city deserves it. Most importantly, he deserves it.”

Now that Embiid has been cleared to play, he would like to do so for longer periods of time. He began the preseason at 12 minutes and was increased to 20 in segmented spurts for opening night. Even though he exceeded that limit by over two minutes, Embiid is itching to be cleared to play more extensively. 

“It sucks,” Embiid said. “I feel like I could have played more but you know you’ve got to trust the process, got to trust those guys. If I have my minute restriction at 20 minutes, I guess I’m going to go with that. But obviously I want to play more and more and I think it can help the team better. But they have a plan for me and I’ve got to follow it.”

Embiid has maintained he wants to be a clutch player. Brown looked to him toward the end of the game as the Thunder pulled ahead late in the final quarter. He drained a fade away jumper to tie the game at 97 apiece with 50.7 to go. 

Later trailing by four with 10 seconds left, the Sixers went to Embiid. While he was whistled for an offensive foul, Brown was glad to have a go-to unlike in years past. 

“You have a target,” Brown said. “We tried to get the ball to him a lot. … By and large, to have somebody like Joel, where the mystery is solved like, 'What do you do?' You get him the ball as much as you can.”

The more the Sixers found Embiid, the more the Thunder had to try to defend him. Thunder head coach Billy Donovan knew what his team was going up against. He watched Embiid as a high schooler and coached against him during his tenure at Florida. 

“He’s gifted and skilled,” Donovan said. “It was probably our guy’s first time seeing him … I knew the talent, the gifts. The one thing with him is, he’s got great footwork. He’s hard to guard because he’s herky-jerky. He moves. He’s got a lot of (Hakeem) Olajuawon to him.”

Opening night had been two years in the making. Even though the Sixers didn't win, the significance of the evening didn't disappoint. 

"I thought this moment was going to be special," Embiid said, "and it was just great."

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

NEW ORLEANS -- Jusuf Nurkic scored 23 points, Will Barton added 22, and the Denver Nuggets survived a dominant performance by Anthony Davis to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-102 in both teams' regular season opener Wednesday night.

Davis had 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks. His production helped New Orleans trim a deficit as large as 14 late in the second quarter down to two points in the waning minutes. He simply didn't have enough help.

The rest of the Pelicans combined to shoot 21 of 58. Tim Frazier scored 15 for the Pelicans. E'Twaun Moore added 10 points, but missed a 3-point attempt that could have tied it with 24 seconds left.

Danilo Gallinari scored 15 for Denver and Wilson Chandler added 12 points (see full recap).

Celtics top Nets in Horford's home debut
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and nine assists, Jae Crowder added 21 points and Al Horford pitched in 11 in his Boston debut on Wednesday night as the Celtics survived a late scare to beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-117 in their season opener.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 for Brooklyn, including a 3-pointer to make it 120-117 with 47 seconds left after the Nets erased most of a 23-point deficit against the Boston bench. But he missed one with a chance to tie it after Joe Harris intercepted Thomas' cross-court pass, and the Celtics were able to hold on.

Justin Hamilton came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Nets in coach Kenny Atkinson's debut (see full recap).

Turner's opening act leads Pacers past Mavs in OT
INDIANAPOLIS -- Myles Turner scored 30 points, tied his career high with 16 rebounds and made a 3-pointer with 1:18 left in overtime to start an 8-0 run that allowed the Indiana Pacers to close out a 130-121 victory Wednesday night over the Dallas Mavericks.

Three-time All-Star Paul George added 25 points, including another 3 with 55 seconds left to seal Indiana's fifth season-opening win in six years.

Deron Williams scored 25 points, while J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki each added 22 as the Mavs lost their fifth straight in the series. They still haven't won in Indianapolis since February 2014.

Dallas didn't tie the score or take a lead until the fourth quarter, yet still forced overtime when Harrison Barnes' open 3-pointer made it 115-all with 2.3 seconds left.

Turner could have won it with a long buzzer-beating 3, but it bounced off the back of the rim (see full recap).