Cameron Smith made a lightning-fast start on his return to the US PGA Tour in Las Vegas today, shooting a brilliant 66 to put himself in contention at the CJ Cup.
Smith, who has been spending time at home in Florida with his father Des, had not played a tournament for more than a month.
But he made seven birdies and one bogey in his opening round at the Summit Club to sit in the top echelon through round one, albeit five shots behind runaway leader Robert Streb (61).
“I really didn’t know what to expect, to be honest,” said the Queenslander.
“I’ve been playing a bunch of golf with my old man at home in Jacksonville. Haven’t really practised a whole bunch, just been kind of having to hit with him. It was good to come out and see some putts fall and hit some good shots.”
Smith said he felt excited to be playing again. “I feel like just some fresh legs and a fresh mind is probably a big key. I didn’t feel like I really had my best stuff out there today, but the way I handled some mistakes, I guess, was really good. And yeah, like I said, towards the end of the year I would have been frustrated and carried it on.”
He had heard news overnight of the cancellation of the Men’s Australian Open, one that he craves winning.
“Obviously it’s pretty disappointing. I love going back home and playing golf in front of the home crowd, but hopefully soon we can get back there and start playing some golf. It seems like forever. I haven’t been back for a couple years, I haven’t seen my family for a couple years, so it’s been pretty tough. I’ll be the first one over there pegging it up.”
Adam Scott also made a nice start in Vegas with a 68.