Cameron Smith way off the pace at LIV Golf Bangkok




 

Cameron Smith was among the early stragglers at LIV Golf Bangkok as the Open champion finished his first round seven shots adrift of the leaders.

After winning the Chicago leg of the breakaway series last month, Australian Smith would have been hoping for more at Stonehill Golf Course on Friday.

A double bogey at 16 was followed by a pair of pars as he came home in level-par 72.

Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, Richard Bland and Branden Grace were the unlikely leading trio on seven under, with Marc Leishman and Ian Poulter tied for fourth one shot back.

Brooks Koepka was one of five players on five under, with Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau three under and Dustin Johnson two under.

Only five players shot worse scores than Smith, with Chase Koepka and Matthew Wolff bringing up the rear on two under.

The three co-leaders all had bogey-free rounds, each posting rounds of 65 after making seven birdies.

Lopez-Chacarra is a 22-year-old Spaniard who was a top amateur before embarking on his professional career in the LIV ranks. He has yet to have a top-20 finish on the tour.

Bland is a 49-year-old Englishman who in May 2021 won his first European Tour title at the 478th attempt; while Grace, with two wins on the PGA Tour and nine on the European Tour, is the renowned top performer among the pace-setting trio.

The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) on Thursday revealed that no rankings points will be up for grabs in Bangkok this week or Jeddah next week.

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