Defending champion Smith tops Gold Coast leaderboard

Cameron Smith posted a seven-under round of 65 to top the leaderboard at the Australian PGA Championship on Friday, as home players continued to dominate.

Smith is looking to become the first person to successfully defend the title since Robert Allenby did so in 2001 and much of his good work came on the front nine, carding six birdies and a bogey before the turn.

Two further gains at 10 and 15 took him to nine under for the week and moved him ahead of overnight leaders Jake McLeod and Matt Jager.

McLeod is one shot back alongside fellow Australian Marc Leishman, with Jager now in a tie for fourth with Dimitrios Papadatos and Christopher Wood at seven under.

“It was good,” said Smith. “I thought I struck it nicely yesterday and the putts weren’t quite going in. I just didn’t quite have the speed yesterday.

“I did a little bit of extra work this morning on the green and it paid off. I was actually getting putts to the hole today, which is nice.

“I was just trying to do my best. I decided I wanted to get to 10 [under overall], that was kind of my goal before Friday’s end, so one off is not too bad.

“Seven under [on Friday], you can never complain about seven under.”