Aussie gun stuns with monster putts to steer world’s finest in prestigious $11m PGA occasion

Aussie gun stuns with monster putts to steer world’s finest in prestigious m PGA occasion

Aussie Cameron Smith rolled in two lengthy eagle putts on the way in which to an eight-under par 65 and a one-shot lead over world primary Jon Rahm and two others within the US PGA Tour Match of Champions.Australia’s Smith shook off a gradual begin to set the tempo on the par-73 Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii, however he had little respiration room within the elite $US8.2 million ($A11.4m) occasion for final season’s winners.Spain’s Rahm had seven birdies with out a bogey in his 66 and was joined at seven-under by FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay and fellow American Daniel Berger.“I began off fairly terribly, to be sincere,” mentioned Smith, who bogeyed the par-three second gap.He bounced again with a birdie on the third, then drained a 44-foot eagle putt on the fifth and birdied the ninth to make the flip three-under.Smith caught fireplace coming in choosing up 5 strokes in 4 holes with birdies at 13, 14 and 16 sandwiched round an eagle at 15, the place he rolled in a 37-foot putt.Watch LIVE protection from The USPGA Tour with Fox Sports activities on Kayo. New to Kayo? Begin Your Free Trial >“I simply wanted these two eagles to get a very low one occurring,” Smith mentioned. “Clearly two actually lengthy putts and (I used to be) most likely fairly lucky that they went in, however they went in.” Rahm, whose 2021 season included a maiden main victory on the US Open and PGA Participant of the 12 months honors, birdied the par-five fifth, then picked up strokes on the sixth and seventh — the place he made a 24-foot putt.He gave himself a two-footer for birdie at 13, then picked up strokes at 14 and 16 earlier than two-putting for birdie from 91 ft on the par-five 18th.“It’s at all times good to return out and begin the yr off the precise manner,” mentioned Rahm, who like many within the first US PGA Tour occasion of 2022 has taken a while off in current weeks.“I imply, you may at all times anticipate somewhat little bit of rust. However, once more, I took time without work, however I wasn’t on the sofa, proper, doing nothing. I used to be nonetheless understanding. I used to be nonetheless practising as if I used to be nonetheless within the season. I took possibly three weeks off of golf, which had been very wanted. However regardless that I used to be residence, I used to be practising.”- Cantlay costs -Cantlay surged into his share of second, choosing up six photographs within the area of 5 holes from the thirteenth via the seventeenth.That included 4 birdies and his 36-foot eagle on the fifteenth. However he was unable to benefit from the par-five ending gap.“I feel that stretch of the golf course usually is essentially the most scorable half,” Cantlay mentioned. “Then I hit numerous high quality photographs and it had been somewhat time coming, it felt, as a result of I made so many pars on the primary 12 holes or so.” South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen, South Korean Im Sung-jae and American Kevin Na had been two adrift on 67.British Open champion Collin Morikawa, who can overtake Rahm for the primary rating with a victory this week, was amongst 5 gamers on 68, a gaggle that additionally included four-time main champion Brooks Koepka, Joel Dahmen, Talor Gooch and Garrick Higgo.Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele had been in a giant group on 69.The opposite main winner of 2021, PGA Champion Phil Mickelson, fired a two-under 71 in his first look within the occasion in 21 years.“It’s a fantastic place and each gap has such surroundings, and so forth, however it’s a onerous golf course to stroll,” the 51-year-old mentioned. “I’m hurting.Main first-round scores on Thursday within the US PGA Tour Match of Champions at Kapalua, Hawaii (USA until famous, par-73):65 – Cameron Smith (AUS)66 – Daniel Berger, Jon Rahm (ESP), Patrick Cantlay67 – Erik van Rooyen (RSA), Kevin Na, Im Sung-jae (KOR)68 – Garrick Higgo (RSA), Joel Dahmen, Brooks Koepka, Talor Gooch, Collin Morikawa69 – Viktor Hovland (NOR), Kevin Kisner, Lucas Herbert (AUS), Marc Leishman (AUS), Stewart Cink, Cam Davis (AUS), Branden Grace (RSA), Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Xander Schauffele

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