Smith in action today – photo Patrick Smith Getty
Cameron Smith, fresh from his top ten finish at last week’s Masters, leads after day one of the RBC Heritage Classic at Harbour Town Links on Hilton Head Island, the 27-year old’s opening round of 62 equaling the previous best opening round score set by his fellow countryman, Peter Lonard, and multiple winner of the event, Davis Love 111.
Smith’s nine birdie, bogey free round has him one ahead of 2004 champion Stewart Cink with Matt Wallace and Collin Morikawa another two shots back.
Perhaps the highlight of his round came at the 17th where he holed a bunker shot from behind the green to move to 8 under before yet another fine approach set up one final birdie.
Smith was quick to point out the more aggressive approach he was able to take around the greens this week compared to the fast and fiery Augusta National of last week.
“I mean, I feel like after last week, I feel like chipping around here is almost like a breeze,” said Smith. “I was so scared almost last week on every chip shot, and I feel like I can be really aggressive around here.
“Augusta, especially how I played last week was very stressful, I mean, you’re almost worried about every shot out there it seems like. After Sunday I drove back down to Jacksonville. I had a couple days at home.
“I drove up here Tuesday lunchtime, just played nine holes in the pro-am, and I feel like my game — I felt like my game was in a really good spot, so I didn’t feel like I needed to come here and really grind out a couple of good practice days. I felt like everything was in a good spot, and I think it paid off those couple days at home.
“This place really gets my creativity going into the greens. Especially there’s a couple of holes out there where you really have to shape it into the greens around trees, and if you’re in a bad spot off the tee, you just have to know where to miss it, especially with how firm the greens are out there.”
Cameron Davis, the only other Australian in the field, recovered from a slow start to his round of an opening 2 under 69 while New Zealander Danny Lee recorded a round of 68.