Smith fires PGA career low at Wyndham Championship
(Greensboro, NC:) Brisbane-born Cameron Smith felt right at home in sweltering heatwave conditions to record a 63 and the lowest round of his PGA Tour career on day one of the Wyndham Championship.
It is Smith’s lowest score in his 60 Tour events and a shot better than a 64 he posted earlier this year on day one of the Sony Hawaii Open.Cameron Smith (Credit: Asian Tour)
In a complete turnaround from his recent form, the 23-year old seized seven birdies. None better than his 181-yard uphill second shot into the 18th green (his 9th) that landed just two-feet from the pin for a virtual tap-in birdie on the par 70 Sedgefield County Club course.
Smith then managed four birdies over his inward half with the picks being the par three 3rd and 7th holes where he rolled in respective birdies of 35-feet and 43-feet.
It handed the reigning Zurich Classic champion a share of third place on seven-under par.
World No. 9 Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, and the highest-ranked player in the field, produced a 62 to be in second place at eight-under par.
Smith had missed the cut here a year ago with scores of 74 and 68 but he made a mockery of that effort twelve months on.
“I love playing here in Greensboro as it’s a real old school type of golf course with big loopy greens and if you get the putter going you can post a score like I did today”, he said.
“The putter was good today, so I definitely have felt a lot better today than it’s been of late.”
Smith is contesting the $US 5.8m event for the third year running and his previous best was a final day 65 he shot to share 18th place on debut in 2015.
The young Queenslander arrived in Greensboro having missed the halfway cut in five of six events since teaming with Swede Jonas Blixt to win the Zurich Classic.
And the arrival also of his coach, Grant Field could not have been more timely with Smith lying 45th on the FedEx Cup standings but having dropped to 170th on the World Rankings.
“My coach flew in on Monday and got back to basics really with the whole game and yeah, it felt good today,” he said.
“We hadn’t seen each other for some time and my set-up was getting a little askew and out of timing, so it has been nothing major and if anything, just fine-tuning.
Also helping Smith get back to his New Orleans winning ways is the work he’s undertaking with renowned US-based sports psychologist, Dr. Fran Pirozzolo.
Pirozzolo has been a consultant to numerous collegiate athletic departments and has published 14 books and over 250 scientific and popular articles.
“I have been working with Dr. Pirozzolo for a while and he hands me a lot material to read and I then like working it out myself,” said Smith.
“I have always found it works better for me that I teach myself but then I have to say the biggest thing Dr. Pirozzolo has taught me and that is how to calm down and control emotions so that aspect has been very helpful.”