PGA TOUR rookie Cameron Smith seems to be finding his feet in the US, the 22-year-old the lone Australian to make the cut at one of the circuit's most difficult tournaments this week.
Smith opened with an impressive round of 1-under 70 at the Valspar Championship's tough Copperhead course to be inside the top-10 and, despite not maintaining that momentum all week, it was further proof the Queenslander has the game to compete at the highest level.
Since playing his way onto the TOUR with some exceptional performances last year, Smith has struggled to find consistency with his best finish to date a T11 at the Pebble Beach event last month.
That performance signalled somewhat of a turnaround for the former Australian Amateur champion after four missed cuts in his previous seven starts, this week's T42 another move in the right direction.
The encouraging signs come at just the right time for Smith who will tee up in his first US Masters in less than a month.
Fellow Queenslander John Senden continued his on again-off again relationship with the Innisbrook course, the 2014 champion missing the cut by a single stroke.
Senden made a brave run at playing the weekend after a disastrous start to his second round, a double bogey at the 11th, his second hole of the day, and four other dropped shots on his first nine looking to have ended his week.
But the two time PGA TOUR winner showed resolve to fight back, an eagle at the course's first hole and two more birdies on the second nine offset by a single bogey, his eventual 4-over total one too many.
For Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Geoff Ogilvy and Steven Bowditch it will be harder to find the positives, all struggling from the outset and missing the cut by multiple shots.
Appleby will be hoping this result is just a blip after showing glimpses of form in recent weeks, the Victorian still having 12 events remaining on a medical extension as he battles to get back his card following back surgery early last year.
Headlines at a glance
- Gibson top Aussie in Panama 21.02.2017
- Scott off to good start at Riviera 21.02.2017
- Rumford dominates ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth 19.02.2017
- ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth round 4 draw 19.02.2017
- Thrills and spills as top-24 determined at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth 18.02.2017
- Hawkes flies low at Heidelberg 18.02.2017
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