The 25-year-old Queenslander started his round at TPC Boston’s 10th hole and went to the turn in a routine even par after one birdie and one bogey.
But the front nine proved a different story as Smith, winner of the Zurich teams event in2017 with Jonas Blixt, reeled off five birdies to get to 7-under for the tournament and a share of fifth place.
Webb Simpson holds the outright lead after a stunning 18th hole eagle, the Players champion holing from well off the green to get to 11-under and leapfrog Tyrrell Hatton and Justin Rose.
The English duo shared top spot for the bulk of the day at 10-under, two ahead of another Englishmen in Tommy Fleetwood who is fourth alone.
Smith is the best of the four Australians in the field, Marc Leishman signing for a 3-under 68 to be one behind Smith and T7 while Adam Scott posted a second consecutive 71 to remain even par for the week and T55.
Jason Day’s horror week continued with the former Word Number One adding a 73 to his opening 76 on his way to missing the cut.
.@WebbSimpson1 puts an exclamation point on the round.September 1, 2018
Despite his poor play this week, however, Day is guaranteed to be among the top 30 FedEx Cup points leaders to qualify for the TOUR Championship in two weeks’ time while both Smith and Leishman are in excellent position to do the same.
Smith started the week 16thin the standings and looks likely to improve on that while Leishman was 24th and is also in position to move up the standings.
Smith credited a trip home in July for his recent good play after a spell of poor golf mid-season.
He said he decided to take a break because he was ‘losing my head a little bit, if I’m honest’ but had returned eager to get back to his best.
“I was just playing crappy golf through the middle of the season so went home to Australia and had a few weeks and recharged the batteries a little bit,” he said.
“I went back over for the Scottish and British Open and since then everything has been flowing really good.”
He said after a slow start in round two he was pleased to finish the back nine strong.
“The swing was a little bit scratchy this morning just being a little bit cold and that back nine is a little bit tougher than the front,” he said.
“I just kind of hung in that back nine and when I got to the front nine I knew I had a lot of chances and just stuck to it.”
SIGNATURE HOLES - 4TH AT MT WARREN PARK GC, QUENSLAND:
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