Date: August 21, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Smith hits playoffs firing

For the second time in four days, Cameron Smith has signed for a stellar 63 on the US PGA Tour.

The seven-under-par total, matching Thursday's opening round as his lowest score on the big tour, was good enough for the young Queenslander to post his third best result in a breakout season.

His T7 finish at 15 under at the Wyndham Championship might still have been seven shots off eventual champion Henrik Stenson, but it gave Smith a valuable boost heading into this week's FedEx Cup playoffs.

Smith, who turned 24 during the week, rose from 45th to 40th in the season-long points race, effectively guaranteeing him starts in the first three weeks of a potentially lucrative month of golf.

He must rise inside the top 30 before the Tour Championship in Atlanta from 20-24 September to have a shot at the magical $10million bonus.

Of the other Aussies to have made the cut in North Carolina, Geoff Ogilvy surged to T16 and locked his spot in the Northern Trust in New York this week by rising to No.116 on the rankings, while Steve Bowditch enjoyed his best week in a while, finishing T64, but missing out on the playoffs.

Absent from Greensboro but firmly in the playoff picture were Marc Leishman (14), Jason Day (49) and Rod Pampling (70).

Adam Scott qualified 66th, but will miss the next two weeks – and almost certainly the following two – to be at home for the birth of his second child.

On the wrong side of the ledger, Aaron Baddeley (138), Cam Percy (144), Matt Jones (152), Greg Chalmers (173), Stuart Appleby (192) and Brett Drewitt (196) all missed the playoffs, but have earnt rights to play in the upcoming Tour finals.