Cameron Smith tees off on the third hole during the third round of the CJ Cup at the Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea. Picture: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Cameron Smith tees off on the third hole during the third round of the CJ Cup at the Nine Bridges in Jeju, South Korea. Picture: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Smith and Day move up leaderboard in South Korea

CAMERON Smith's consistency and an eagle on 18 have the Australian within range of another creditable finish in the PGA Tour's CJ Cup in South Korea.

Back-to-back four-under rounds of 67 at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island have the 25-year-old Queenslander five strokes off the lead held by two-time US Open champion Brooks Koepka with a round to negotiate.

Smith, who was third in last year's CJ Cup, recorded a trio of birdies in a bogey-free completion on Saturday, carrying him to eight-under and a tie for fourth - a welcome boost after his opening round 74.

He has picked up encouragingly since a tie for 22nd in the season-opening CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.

Australia's former world No.1 Jason Day finally sparked to life in his first tournament since the Tour Championship in September, climbing up leaderboard from a tie for 30 to a share of 10th with a stunning seven-under 65.

Day produced eight birdies, including a string of five in a row to close out the front nine.

The 30-year-old carded middling rounds of 73 and 71 to start his season and there were ominous signs early when he dropped shots at the third and fourth holes before finding his range.

Day was not as prolific on the back nine but, like Smith, he did finish a flourish with an eagle on the par-five 18th.

Marc Leishman, who won the CIMB Classic last week, continued to make amends for an opening round 75, carding a 68 to improve to two-under.

Adam Scott was a shot further after a 71 while veteran Rod Pampling, who was tied for fourth after day one, slipped to even par with consecutive 73s.

Koepka's 65 has the American four strokes clear of England's Ian Poulter and second-round leader Scott Piercy of the USA.

- AP

News Corp Australia


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