Aussies take charge with $13 million up for grabs
A BOGEY on his final hole undid what could have been a brilliant start for Cameron Smith as he seeks his share of a massive $13 million in prizemoney at the World Golf Championship event in Florida.
The Queenslander was within a single shot of the opening round leaders before a wayward drive on his final hole at the Concession Club forced him to scramble.
Smith dropped a shot to finish at four-under, two behind the leaders, but also equal with South Australian veteran Wade Ormsby who, in a rare US appearance, put his hand up for a slice of the massive windfall on offer.
“The course is great, I love the course, it really suits my eye. I feel like you’ve got to shape it a bit off the tee and be kind of creative around the greens, so it’s nice,” Smith after making five birdies in his opening round of 68.
“I mean, it was really good the first probably 12, 13 holes and then just got a little bit scrappy at the end. Nothing a few balls on the range can’t fix.”
Ormsby, who spends his year on the European Tour, said it was nice to be “up there” in such a big event, with the world’s best players
“I’ve been around a little while so I think if I play well I’d like to be in the top half there somewhere,” he said.
“To be where I am, yeah, I’m very happy. I would have taken it at the start of the day, but more importantly, just keep the game going, keep improving and keep putting myself there.
“I‘d like to play more of these big events, but spent most of my career in Europe. Played a couple of times over here and I do love it over here, but at the same time European Tour’s a strong tour and a good tour, so can’t jeopardise that by trying to come across over here.”
The pair were the best of nine Aussies at the event.
SPANISH maestro Diego Castro scored twice as Perth Glory continued Brisbane Roar’s ordinary run with a 3-1 win at HBF Park last night.
While the Roar ended a sixhour goal drought via a Jack
Hingert header, they were again disappointing as their run of games without a win stretched to four.
In contrast, the Glory were clinical and classy as they won for the fourth time in just six matches this season thanks to Castro’s brace and a sizzling strike from Uruguayan ace Bruno Fornaroli.
The Roar had their chances, with both Golgol Mebrahtu and Dylan Wenzel-Halls hitting the post in the first half, with the latter somehow failing to find the back of the net from inside the six-yard box.
But there was no doubting the Glory’s superiority.
Castro got the ball rolling in the 40th minute when took advantage of too much space afforded to him by Hingert to unleash with a sublime angled strike that was too good for Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young.
Hingert equalised with a header in first-half stoppage time but that was the end of Brisbane’s joy.
Fornaroli restored Perth’s lead in the 68th with a majestic left-footed strike after a clever layoff from Japanese substitute Kosuke Ota.
The evergreen Castro sealed his side’s win in the 75th minute after more good work from Ota.
Earlier, Glory were screaming for a penalty in the 23rd minute when former Roar striker
Nick D’Agostino was bundled over by Young on the edge of his penalty area as he tried to beat his former teammate to the ball.
Referee Alireza Faghani waved play on, with the VAR upholding his decision, much to the disbelief of Fox Sports football expert Robbie Slater.
“To me that’s clear. Once D’Agostino gets there first, that’s a penalty,” Slater said. “The VAR has failed to act on what was a clear penalty.”