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Birthday boy Smith leads Aussies at Wyndham Championship

Smith regains form after recent slump. (Photo: Bruce Young)
It might have been his birthday today in the US but Queenslander Cameron Smith did not exactly get the present he was hoping for when he added a second round of 69 at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro to slip eleven places from his overnight share of 3rd to be tied for 14th at the completion of 36 holes.

While still well placed, Smith was unable to build on the momentum he created in round one but he still leads the Australians as the event heads into the weekend.

The now 24 year old started well enough with birdies at the 1st and 5th holes but from that point on it was a drought of sorts although a bogey at the par three 12th was his only real blemish.

Smith had his coach Grant Field from the Sunshine Coast of Australia fly in this week and the pair worked on retunring to some of the basics he grew up with and the refresher seems to have worked for Smith who earlier in the year won a pairs event but who has missed five of his last six cuts.

Smith trails joint leaders Ryan Armour and former winner of the event Webb Simpson by five shots, Armour producing a major form reversal having not recorded even a top twenty to date this season.

Armour’s second round of 61 on the low scoring layout fell one short of the record round of 60 by last year’s winner Si Woo Kim.  

Steven Bowditch also produced a significant form reversal after 20 consecutive missed cuts with a second round of 66 to be tied for 27th. Bowditch is languishing in 237th position on the FedEx Cup table in 2017 and likely needs a win this week to have any chance of regaining his playing rights for the PGA Tour.

Geoff Ogilvy improved with his second round of 66 to be tied for 44th but he too needs a big weekend as he is now 128th on the projected FedEx Cup rankings, needing to be inside the top 125 by the end of this week's event which completes the 2017 full field season before the Playoffs begin next week. He will need improvement over the final 36 holes to ensure he retains full status for the 2018 season.

Ogilvy rallied late in his round with five birdies in six holes over his closing nine.

Stuart Appleby is also 44th this week while Aaron Baddeley is the only other Australian to make the cut in 66th position.

For Brett Drewitt, Matt Jones, Cameron Percy, Greg Chalmers and Ryan Ruffels, their 2017 PGA Tour season is over having missed the cut although all except Ruffels will get the chance to play the Web.Com Tour Finals beginning in two weeks’ time as will Ogilvy (if required), Appleby and Baddeley.  

New Zealanders Steve Alker and Tim Wilkinson are tied for 19th place this week.

CAMERON SMITH

  

 

 

 

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