Sleepy start in Smith's Aust PGA defence

Bogeys on his final two holes have pegged back Cameron Smith after he recovered from a slow start to his title defence at the Australian PGA Championship.

29-Nov-2018 By Murray Wenzel, Australian Associated Press
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A pre-dawn rise did Cameron Smith no favours in an up-and-down opening to his Australian PGA Championship defence on the Gold Coast.

The Brisbane talent took a while to get going after a 6am tee off at Royal Pines, turning at even par before mixing four birdies and two bogeys in his final seven holes to finish two-under.

Smith hit the ball crisply under blue, calm skies early on but couldn't buy a putt in a round he said featured one of the earliest tee times of his career.

The 25-year-old had time for a cold shower and a "couple of UP and GOs" in a morning that finished below expectations but kept him in the hunt.

"It was so perfect this morning, you know, we were expecting someone to have seven, eight, nine-under today," he said.

"Maybe it was the tee time; my alarm this morning was 3.15 (am).

"I hit the snooze once and knew I had to get up.

"The vibe just wasn't there in the group early; no-one was making anything."

Fresh off partnering Marc Leishman for Australia at last week's World Cup of Golf, Smith will have to chase from the pack after Jake McLeod and Matt Jager led the morning scoring with rounds of six-under 66.

But he thinks he's playing well enough to be in contention on the weekend.

"I played really good all day, just kind of struggled to get anything going on that front nine we played," Smith said.

"Realistically, it could have been three-under through three holes and it turned out that I was one-over through four, so that's kind of hard to take on the chin."


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