27 Aug 2021 | Professional golf |

Smith starts strong in chase for big cash

by Martin Blake

Cam Smith BMW image
Cam Smith during his 66 in Maryland today. Photo: Getty

Cameron Smith has made a smooth start in his pitch to become the first Australian to win the Fedex Cup in America.

The Queenslander shot an opening 68 today at Caves Valley Golf Club near Baltimore to sit inside the top 20 in the BMW Championship, the penultimate tournament of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season.

At four under par, he is four shots from the lead held by world No. 1 Jon Rahm , former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and American Sam Burns.

Currently third in the points standings, Smith will give himself a chance of the $US15 million Fedex Cup bonus in Atlanta next week if he can hold his position. Only 30 players get to play the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

Smith had to deal with suffocating heat today, and he went bogey-free.

“Yeah, it was actually really solid,” he said. “ Just hit a few good putts that didn't go in and just hit a few bad putts, as well. I still feel good on the greens, it was just one of those days. A little bit of extra work tomorrow morning and it'll be sweet.”

Matt Jones and Marc Leishman also shot an opening 69, both needing to improve their positions to reach the Tour Championship, while Cam Davis opened with a 73 that puts him under pressure.

ON THE Korn Ferry Tour, Curtis Luck and Rhein Gibson bobbed up with good rounds of 66 to be in the top five after the first round of the second of three playoff events.

IN SWITZERLAND, Min Woo Lee and Jake McLeod began with a four-under 68s in the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre to be in the mix, although England’s James Morrison shot an opening 60, 10 under par. BMW Championship leaderboard

Korn Ferry leaderboard

Swiss Masters leaderboard

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