Cameron Smith, first second. Pierre Pineau tumbles…

At the gates of the top 10 on Thursday after an inaugural 68 (-3), Cameron Smith, world n°3 and last winner of The Open this summer in St Andrews, seizes, alone, second place in the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship thanks to at an excellent 65 (-6). At -9 (133), the Australian is advanced by a length by his compatriot, Jason Scrivener, 67 (-4) today without the slightest error. Ninth after 18 holes, Pierre Pineau, the only Frenchman involved in this first tournament of the 2022-23 season, fell back to par total (50th) after a heavy 75 (+4).

Double winner of theAustralian PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019, Cameron Smith started the turbo this Friday in Brisbane. After a warm-up lap on Thursday completed in 68 (-3) for a 14th place on the leaderboard, the Australian, passed on the LIV Golf this summer just after his memorable victory at The Open on the side of Saint Andrew (Scotland), tamed the impetuous by 71 of the Royal Queensland Golf Club.

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The current world No. 3 has thus distilled numerous banderillas (eight birdies in total against two bogeys), as many repeated exploits on very firm greens which allow him to grab second place in the tournament alone at -9 ( 133), one point behind his compatriot Jason Scriveneronly count at -10 (132) after having signed a 67 (-4) without the slightest error.

The Australian Cameron Johnmember of PGA Tour of Australasiawho is co-sanctioning this event with the DP World Tourand the Japanese Masahiro Kawamura, 87th in the 2022 European ranking, climbs to the third step of the podium at -8 (134). Present at European Maps PQ3the spanish Alejandro Canizareswho lost his full right to play this year on the European Tour, managed for his part a good start since he occupies the 5th place tied at -7 with in particular the Pole Adrian Meronk7th of DP Touring World Championship last week in Dubai.

Fourth after eighteen holes, Adam Scott, the other big Australian star present this week, on the other hand got stuck, only being able to post a laborious 72 (+1). The winner of Masters 2013 necessarily gives ground, falling to 17th position at -4 (138).

Rasmus Højgaard and Ryan Fox on the way…

Friday also very complicated for Pierre Pineau, the only Frenchman involved in this first tournament of the 2022-23 fiscal year of the DP World Tour. Starting from 1, the pupil of Guillaume Biaugeaud posted a terrible +5 after eight holes (two doubles, a bogey) before stopping the bleeding at 9 and then at 11 with two birdies. He then alternated the good (birdie again at 15) and the not so good (bogey at 12 and 16) to finally return a card of 75 (+4). He lost 41 places in the standings and found himself halfway through the par total in 50th place. In any case, he will be there this weekend, which was the main objective when he set foot in Australia last Friday…

A few big favorites can’t say the same. Exit in effect Rasmus Hojgaard (78th at +2) or even Ryan Foxsecond in the European ranking, 96th this week at +4 with two cards of 72 and 74…

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Photo: © Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto

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