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Smith Lakes Early Lead In Morocco

Smith Lakes Early Lead In Morocco

Jordan Smith leads the Trophee Hassan II by one shot after posting a first-round seven-under-par 66 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

The 26-year-old Englishman looked to have benefited from his month long lay-off as he posted seven birdies over the par 73 Red Course in Rabat, Morocco, to take the clubhouse lead on Thursday.

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Smith, who has managed seven cuts from as many tournaments on the European Tour this season and secured his first top ten finish of the year in his previous appearance at the Maybank Championship, leads the 2014 champion Alejandro Canizares and American Sean Crocker by one shot. “I think you always take as a positive making the cut,” he said on the European Tour website. “But for me I want to finish as high as possible and I want to get those top tens, top fives and those wins under my belt.” He added: “I hit a lot of iron shots close, I think that was key for me today.

I rolled it really nicely, that’s probably the best I’ve putted for a long time.

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I scrambled when I needed to, when I missed a green, I chipped on and holed the putt. “It was all about momentum for me today.” Scotland’s recent Hero Indian Open champion Stephen Gallacher, who hit his second albatross of the year, and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon are another shot further back on five under.

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, who won in 2017, is on his own in sixth on four under with clutch of six players, including English duo Lee Slattery and Jack Senior, on three under.

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