Smith one clear at Trophee Hassan II

Jordan Smith raced into a first-round lead at the Trophee Hassan II with a seven-under 66 on Thursday.

The Englishman’s only win on the European Tour came at the 2017 European Open but he positioned himself well as he went bogey free through 18 holes.

Matthieu Pavon had set the benchmark at five under, but four birdies between the third and seventh holes – having started at the 10th – took Smith to the top of the leaderboard.

Alejandro Canizares and Sean Crocker were both a shot back on six under, with Stephen Gallacher, who won the Indian Open last month, joining Pavon.

Edoardo Molinari – the 2017 winner – carded a four-under 69 to lie in sixth on his own.

Smith said afterwards: “You always take making the cut as a positive but, for me, I want to finish as high as possible.

“I want to get those top-10s, top-fives and get those wins under my belt.”