Thursday's golf review: Australian PGA, Thailand Masters round-up
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 19/12/19 11:40am
Cameron Smith's bid for a third consecutive Australian PGA Championship title got off to a slow start after he slipped seven strokes off the lead on the opening day.
Smith, looking to become the first player since 1907 to win the event three years running, dropped down the leaderboard after dropping four shots over his first four holes at RACV Royal Pines Resort.
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Although the world No 52 picked up shots at the sixth, ninth and 13th, a penultimate-hole bogey saw Smith card an opening-round 74 and leave him well adrift of early pacesetters Lucas Herbert and Brett Rankin.
Herbert birdied three of his last four holes to post a five-under 67, which Rankin matches after mixing six birdies with a sole blemish on Thursday.
"Good start," Herbert said. "I've either missed the cut or finished top 10 here so it's got to go either way. I struggled last year, it's good to start the way I have, especially after not playing a lot of golf recently."
Nick Cullen, Min Woo Lee, Wade Ormsby and Travis Smyth and New Zealander Ryan Chisnall are all a shot off the pace, while former No 1 Adam Scott and former major champion Stewart Cink are in the group on two under.
Thomas Detry posted a bogey-free 63 to grab a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Thailand Masters.
The Belgian struck eight birdies in hot and humid conditions at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club to sit a shot clear of Settee Prakongvech.
Detry birdied the 10th - his opening hole - and picked up further shots at the 13th and 16th to reach the turn in 33, before following gains at the first and third with three birdies in his last four holes.
"I'm not getting ahead of myself as there's still three more rounds to go and there are lots of good players here," Detry said. "The strength of the field is good and I just have to stay patient."
America's Berry Henson is in the group on six under and two off the pace, while home favourite Kiradech Aphibarnrat started the week with a bogey-free 67.
Watch the Australian PGA Championship throughout the week on Sky Sports. Coverage continues on Friday from 7am.