Smith’s last start resulted in a second consecutive win at the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast and his 2018 season saw him rise to # 28 in the world ranking, making him one of Australia's best performers last year.
Smith finds himself in a share of 7th place and although five shots from the leader Adam Svensson of Canada he is nicely placed heading into tomorrow’s second round where he will enjoy and early morning (8.00am) tee off.
Four birdies in the last five holes of his opening nine holes set up the round and, although he dropped a shot at his 17th hole, a final hole birdie completed a satisfying day.
Marc Leishman and Matt Jones are the next best of the Australians and just one behind Smith while Adam Scott recorded a round of 2 over 72 early in the day and Cameron Davis 73.
Leishman who finished 4th at last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions, has made all nine previous cuts in this event and appears on track for yet another good finish. He took a while to get his round heading in the right direction but after twelve consecutive pars he played the final six holes in 3 under.
Jones regained his PGA Tour playing status during the Web.Com Tour Finals last October and recovered from two early bogeys for his round of 67 to make a good start to his year.
Scott fought back after a shaky start dropping four shots in his first 12 holes but at 2 over and in 112th position he will likely need a round of 3 under or better tomorrow to make it to the weekend.
The leader Svensson is playing the PGA Tour for the first time this season after winning on the Web.Com Tour last year. After missing the last three cuts of his five PGA Tour starts to date this wraparound season this is a pleasing turnaround.
The 25 year old leads by one over Andrew Putnam on a day of low scoring where 75 players broke par.
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