Smith holds slender CIMB Classic lead
Australian Cameron Smith holds a one-shot lead after the first round of the CIMB Classic.
Smith claimed his maiden PGA Tour title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April and gave himself a fighting chance of adding another at TPC Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The 24-year-old shot a blemish-free eight-under 64 to top the leaderboard after picking up five birdies on the front nine and another three after the turn.
Smith has missed seven cuts in 10 starts on the PGA Tour since his victory six months ago, but should still be in Malaysia at the weekend after an impressive start.
He reeled off three birdies in a row at the third, fourth and fifth holes and made further progress with another two at the seventh and ninth to go out in 31.
Smith strung four pars together before picking up another three birdies in his last five holes to take the lead.
PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele is just a shot off the pace along with Poom Saksansin and Keegan Bradley.
Defending champion Justin Thomas, attempting to win the CIMB Classic for the third year in a row, has work to do after starting with a two-under 70.
Kevin Na, Gary Woodland and Pat Perez are two shots adrift of leader Smith.