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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cameron Smith saves par from creek, video, highlights, Australian scores

Cameron Smith has once again proven golf pros aren’t playing the same game as weekend hacks, saving par from a creek during the first round of the PGA Championship.

The par-five seventh at Valhalla Golf Club gives players two options off the tee – play to a longer fairway down the right hand side, or to a smaller island fairway on the left.

The latter is a far more direct route but presents a challenging second shot with a massive water carry.

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But Smith, who was playing his 16th hole of the day having started on the 10th, found neither. His tee shot came to rest in a shallow creek that divides the two fairways and flows into a larger lake.

His ball was clearly visible sitting on a rock, and was only partially submerged. Smith took his shoes off and played a lovely wedge shot into the middle of the fairway.

If the average golfer tried to do the same, they would likely have hit nothing but rock, broken their club, potentially their wrists, and still had to take a penalty.

With his shoes back on, Smith then hit an iron over the back of the green, but once again showed his class with a wedge in his hand by chipping it close, and making the putt.

Playing the back-nine first, Smith made the turn at two-under courtesy of birdies at the 11th and 18th. He made two more at the third and fourth before dropping a shot with a bogey at the fifth.

He carded a three-under 68 to lie six shots back from Xander Schauffele, who shot a PGA Championship record-low 62 to sit three shots clear.

After the round, Smith said he had started to “let go” by the time he found the water at the seventh.

“I actually hit the ball quite well for probably the first 12 or 13 holes there,” he said.

“Kind of let go of it a little bit at the end, but everything felt really good. I managed to get a few good par saves and keep the momentum going for tomorrow.

“It’s going be a long week. I think you know that at the start of the week anyway – it’s a major week. It’s always more demanding.

“Plenty of rest this afternoon, maybe hit a few balls, clean some stuff up and get a good sleep tonight.”

Smith is the leading Aussie after the first round. Lucas Herbert made four consecutive birdies on his way to a two-under round.

Jason Day sits even par, Adam Scott and Min Woo Lee both sit one-over, while Cam Davis didn’t make a single birdie in a nightmare first round, and sits at seven-over.

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