05 Feb 2022 | Professional golf |
Cam Smith fires in Saudi Arabia
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
Cameron Smith will start the third round just two strokes off the lead following a second straight round of four-under 66 at the Asian Tour’s PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.
Smith used his Australian upbringing to harness the strong winds that buffeted the course all day to move to eight under at the halfway mark with the equal best round of the day, two strokes back of 2016 Australian PGA champion Harold Varner III (66) and Spain’s Adri Arnaus (66).
South Australian Wade Ormsby moved inside the top 10 with a second round of three-under 67, rattling off six birdies including three in a row from the second hole.
Brad Kennedy (72), Lucas Herbert (73), Andrew Dodt (71), Louis Dobbelaar (72) and Marc Leishman (69) all qualified for the weekend but it is Smith who is best positioned to make a charge for what would be his first Asian Tour title.
Although he hit only six of 14 fairways Smith made just the one bogey as many in the field struggled with the hefty winds.
“I like it windy. I grew up in the wind,” Smith explained.
“Being from Australia, it’s something you kind of have to get used to pretty quick.
“You’ve just got to strike the ball well. You’ve just got to hit it out of the middle and judge your wind.”
Smith needed just 28 putts in his second round but saw a number of other birdie chances just slide by the hole while a wicked lip-out prevented him from picking up another shot at the par-3 16th.
“Struck the ball well, gave myself lots of opportunities,” was Smith’s summary of his round.
“I guess I felt like I was putting it good, the putts just weren’t dropping like I wish they had.
“There’s plenty of opportunities, plenty of wedges, and just be real patient with it.
“The greens were nice this morning. Just be patient with the golf course. It’s got plenty of birdies.”
Fellow Queenslander Maverick Antcliff is also the leading Aussie through two rounds of the DP World Tour’s Ras al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club.
Rounds of 69-70 have put Antcliff in a tie for 34th through 36 holes, nine shots back of leader and 2019 Vic Open champion David Law.
West Australian Jason Scrivener also advanced to the weekend following a second round of four-under 68, Kiwi Ryan Fox (71-71) missing the cut on the number.
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