Cameron Smith showed his class in front of his home fans to leap up the leaderboard at the Australian PGA Championship.
The world No. 3 is the star attraction at Royal Queensland Golf Club, following his Open Championship exploits and controversial move to LIV Golf earlier in the year.
He’s back playing on home soil for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, and looks the man to beat after moving into contention.
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His round of 65 saw him climb to nine-under, and within one shot of the clubhouse lead.
Worryingly for the rest of the field, Smith still looked a step below his absolute best as he was a shade crooked on occasions off the tee and with his long irons.
But what was not crooked was his brilliant putting, as he rolled in a couple of long-range tramliners for birdies.

Second Round Leaderboard

  • 1. Jason Scrivener, 10-under
  • 2. Cameron Smith, nine-under
  • T3. Cameron John, eight-under
  • T3. Masahiro Kawamura, eight-under
  • T5. Alejandro Canizaares, seven-under
  • T5. Denzel Ieremia, seven-under
  • T5. Anthony Quayle, seven-under
  • T5. Adrian Meronk, seven-under
The one moment of disappointment for Smith was when making a bogey on the signature 17th hole, which was surrounded by huge grandstands, but he made amends with a bounce-back birdie on 18 to sign for a 65.
“That was better today,” Smith said. “That was more like the Cameron that should play golf. It was really solid.
“It was tough conditions, gusty winds and the greens firming up. I just put together a really solid round.”

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Smith has admitted that he was refreshed after a good sleep following his 6am tee time on Thursday.
“It has been a long week,” Smith said. “I had a really good sleep yesterday afternoon, three hours on the couch and then had dinner and went back to sleep. The body was tired and was telling me to sleep.
“Another restful night tonight and get ready for the weekend.”
Adam Scott, who went round in 66 on Thursday, lost ground on Smith on Friday after posting a round of 72 to sit six back of the lead, but he had a moment to savour when rolling in a huge birdie putt on 17.
Adrian Meronk is one of the few Europeans to travel over for the opening event on the new DP World Tour season, and he produced an excellent round of 67 to get to seven-under.
Alejandro Canizares of Spain was another European to impress, as his round of 66 took him to seven-under.
Rasmus Hojgaard’s trip was not as positive of that of Meronk and Canizares, as he struggled in round two. He carded three double bogeys, one of which on 18 took him outside the cut line.
Hojgaard’s twin brother Nicolai fared better, as he carded a round of 71 to sit comfortably inside the cut line at three-under.
While the eye is drawn to Smith, Jason Scrivener is the man to catch after he added a 67 to his opening 65 to ascend to the top of the leaderboard at 10-under.
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