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Cameron Smith rubbish first round, leaderboard, scores

Australia’s best male golfer Cameron Smith has come crashing back to earth just days after celebrating a PGA Championship victory in Brisbane.

Smith’s homecoming had the perfect start when he held off a strong field to claim the Australian PGA trophy on Sunday.

But on Thursday he shot 1-over at the Victorian Golf Club to sit tied 62nd after the opening round of the Australian Open.

The Australian Open is live on Nine and 9Now from Thursday.

Smith hit only three birdies in the round, struggled to hit greens and largely failed to wow with his putter.

“I don’t think it was a mixed day, I think it was all pretty rubbish, to be honest,” the 29-year-old told media afterwards.

“Yeah, that was as bad as I’ve played in a long time. It was pretty shitty.

“Obviously I think the course is pretty difficult, the conditions are pretty difficult, but still I need to be better than that.

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“It’s not like I don’t know how to play golf, it’s just a bit of a bad day, just a few things to clean up, I think.”

Smith, a proud Queenslander, celebrated his win in Brisbane accordingly, which only added to his victorious 2022 season in which he won the British Open and signed a deal with LIV Golf worth near enough to $140 million.

Monster crowd watches Smith tee off

But the celebrations did him no favours as he struggled on Thursday in Melbourne.

“I think maybe some kind of delayed tiredness,” he said.

“I did feel a little bit foggy and stuff out there at times, but still, it’s not really an excuse.  It’s my job to do all that stuff, so yeah.”

Making matters more interesting for Smith – and the rest of the field – is the fact the Australian Open has introduced a second cut.

The field will be cut in half after round two, and then after round three both the men’s and women’s draws will be reduced again so Sunday will feature only 30 players in each, as well extras on tied scores.

With Smith sitting tied 62nd, he faces the possibility of not even making it to the weekend.

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“It’s obviously different, but that’s the rules for this week, so it is what it is,” he said.

“There’s not much I can do about it. I think the less people we can have on Sunday, the better I think for pace of play reasons and all that stuff.

“I don’t mind it, I think it’s fine. We still got three days, 54 holes is enough to work out our stuff.”

Smith has become accustomed to playing 54 holes since defecting from the PGA Tour – which competes over 72 – to join the LIV series.

“Yeah, 54 holes is enough for a tournament,” he said.

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