Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Australian Smith leads by one at CIMB Classic

Australian Smith leads by one at CIMB Classic

Australian Cameron Smith, ranked number 151 in the world, took the lead with a sparkling eight-under-par 64.

Thomas clinched his maiden PGA Tour title at the 2015 CIMB Classic with a 26-under-par 262, and triumphed against a tough challenge from Japan's Hideki Matsuyama to win in 2016.

Thailand's Poom, who made six of his seven birdies on the front nine, said: "I played without any expectations. It is very important to play well in the opening events", he said.

With four birdies in first five holes and nine in his first nine holes on the backstretch of the course, Lahiri looked set for a real low number. Entering the event, his scoring average in eight previous rounds at TPC Kuala Lumpur was 65.88. The last player to win on the PGA Tour in his first start was Jim Benepe at the 1988 Beatrice Western Open. "I hit a lot of fairways, kind of made an easy day out of it". Now instead of struggling for starts he has a three-year exemption and is embarking on a three-week stretch of no-cut events in Asia.

"It was boring, which I guess is a good thing out here", said Schauffele, who was paired with Thomas in the opening round.

Xander Schauffele has only had two weeks off since winning the Tour Championship, and his Rookie of the Year trophy hasn't even had a chance to start collecting dust yet.

Also tied in second is Keegan Bradley. Now tied eighth, Lahiri is three shots behind Australian Cameron Smith, who after a successful rookie season on PGA Tour, holds the lead for the first time in his career.

Three players are tied for fifth with 66s: Kevin Na, Gary Woodland and Pat Perez.

Kuala Lumpur: Anirban Lahiri got off to a flying start with a five-under 67 in the first round to be at tied eighth in the CIMB Classic at the TPC Kuala Lumpur here on Thursday.

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