Golfers tee off in Tokyo | Australian Olympic Committee
 

Golfers tee off in Tokyo

Author imageAOC29 Jul 2021
Golf

Golfers Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith made a solid but unspectacular start to their Olympic careers at Kasumigaseki Country Club in northern Tokyo today.

Both Leishman, who shot a one-under par 70, and Smith (even-par 70) are slightly off the pace after the opening day, a way back from tearaway leader Sepp Straka of Austria, who started with a dazzling 63. 

A storm caused the cessation of the opening round just after 2pm local time and left Smith with four holes left to play, but play resumed at 4.15pm. 

"I've still got that chance, three good rounds and you can try and medal," said Leishman, who had to scrap it out after dropping shots at two of his first three holes today. 

The 37-year-old Victorian holed three consecutive birdie putts from the 13th to the 15th hole to seize some momentum, but three-putted the par-three 16th hole to stall his run. 

Leishman said his experience as an Olympian was being made more rewarding by the fact he is playing with Cameron Smith, his close friend from tour life. 

"We're having a lot of fun," Leishman said. "Enjoying ourselves, hopefully we can make a lot of birdies, sort of egg each other along and try and fight it out for a medal." 

 

 

Smith had a topsy-turvy day, reaching two under par during the opening nine but then slipping back with a mistake from a fairway bunker at the 11th and giving back another shot at the par-five 14th. 

The Queenslander was heading straight to the driving range to sort out his issues off the tee with his coach, Grant Field, over the phone. 

"Maybe I'm a bit jet-lagged still," he said. "Coming in from the US last week didn't help." 

Martin Blake

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