Date: October 21, 2019
Author: Martin Blake

Smith fires in Korea

<image="1" align="left" /> 

Australia's Cameron Smith showed some of his finest form as he logged his best finish in a year at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island in South Korea on Sunday.

Smith finished tied-third behind American Justin Thomas, who dominated to win by two shots.

With the Presidents Cup just two months away, Smith is trending the right way, with consecutive top-15 finishes. 

What is less clear is Jason Day's situation as regards the Cup at Royal Melbourne from 12-15 December.

Day started with a 66 to be near the lead, but faded over the last three days to finish tied-31st.

The Queenslander has played in the 2011, 2013 and 2015 Presidents Cup, only missing 2017 because of injury. But this time he is relying on a captain's pick by Ernie Els to get into the field for Royal Melbourne, having finished just outside the top eight qualifiers for the International team.

Many people have speculated that Els' comment about several of his captain's picks being "obvious" indicates he will select Day, who obviously is familiar with the sandbelt conditions, having won the World Cup in 2013 at ‘Royal’.

But we will not know until the first week of November when both Els and the American captain, Tiger Woods, name the last four players on each of the 12-man teams.

New South Welshman Matt Jones carded the equal-low round of the final day, a 65, to jump into a tie for 20th in Korea.

LUCAS HERBERT has taken a step forward in his quest to hold his European Tour card for next season by finishing tied-14th in the Open de France in Paris behind Nicolas Coelsaerts of Belgium.

Victorian Herbert was on the bubble but as the season draws to a close, he jumped to 98th on the Race To Dubai points list, needing to be somewhere inside or close to the top 110.

IN JAPAN, Adam Scott came from a long way back to finish tied-fifth in the Japan Open with a closing 69. He was the leading Australian along with Brad Kennedy and Brendan Jones.