Smith has now produced six of nine rounds in the 60s at the Nelson Haworth-designed layout and, at 8 under, takes a one-shot lead over Thailand’s Poom Saksansin, Tour Championship winner Xander Schauffele and Keegan Bradley with another shot back to Kevin Na, Gary Woodland and Pat Perez.
Smith’s 5th place finish in this event three years ago while an Asian Tour member played a key role in getting him to the PGA Tour and after making the turn in 31 today he finished with a back nine of 33, carding eight birdies and no bogeys.
“It was pretty simple really, hit a lot of good shots today and made a lot of good putts,” said Smith. “The putting was made pretty easy actually, ball-striking today stood out today for me so it was a good round.”
As to any concerns about the hot Malaysian temperatures, Smith reminded the media that he was raised in a warm climate.
"Well, I grew up in Brisbane. It's kind of similar to this but obviously not as bad as this. But yeah, I enjoy the heat. I always play well in the heat for some reason, I honestly can't tell you why.
“You've got to hit the ball straight and then there's plenty of opportunities with your wedges as well. I’ve to keep the game plan pretty much the same really. Just played smart off the tee, try to hit the fairways and then really aggressive into the greens was the goal today and it worked so I'll keep that one.
“I just have to keep myself hydrated. I drank as much water as I possibly could.”
Fellow Queenslander Rod Pampling recorded an even par 72 while Scott Hend, who is keen to advance his cause on the Asian Tour money list where he currently sits in second position struggled to a round of 77 to be in 72nd position in the restricted field of 78.
CAM SMITH: ROUND 1 LEADER AT CIMB CLASSIC
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