HONG KONG (AFP) — Cameron Smith said he was “still a bit asleep” after an early start to his second round but roused himself to take a share of the clubhouse lead at the Hong Kong Open on Friday.
The 2022 British Open champion, and joint overnight leader in the $2 million Asian Tour International Series event, carded six birdies against two bogeys for four-under-par 66.
The Australian was joined at the top of the leaderboard in the morning by South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon on 11-under overall at a sweltering Fanling.
Filipino Miguel Tabuena is tied at 30th spot with a five-under-par 67 while Angelo Que slipped to a tie at 52nd with 71 after opening this prestigious event with a four-under-par 68 on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Smith, one of the biggest names to make the jump to the lucrative Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, was out for his second round starting at 6:45 a.m.
“The 3:30 alarm this morning was a little bit too much,” said Smith, who is chasing victory at Asia’s oldest professional golf tournament for the first time.
“The body wasn’t quite there this morning, it was probably still a little bit asleep.”
“But I managed to do what I really needed to do and go into the weekend with a shot.”
Asked if he planned to practice in the afternoon, Smith said he was instead going to have a nap.
Bae fired an eagle at the par-five third hole and also had seven birdies and two bogeys in his seven-under-par 63.