Smith confident of staging another late Open charge

Cameron Smith, the early Australian Open favourite, will look to take full advantage of the fresh greens early Saturday and stage another late charge at the Australian Open.

Just as he motored home in the Open two years ago to force a play-off with Jordan Spieth – not to mention belted a blazing final-day 66 at the US Masters earlier this year – Smith knows he is more than capable of charging up the leaderboard.

In the mix: Cameron Smith is adamant he can make a late charge during the final two rounds of the Australian Open.

In the mix: Cameron Smith is adamant he can make a late charge during the final two rounds of the Australian Open.Credit:AAP

After a scrappy front nine, which featured a double bogey on the second hole, Smith looked ready to close out his round with three straight birdies, only to bogey the 18th.

He quickly headed to the range to iron out what he labelled the ''little squirty shot'' he sent right off the 18th tee.

Despite being nine shots adrift of Korean leader Byeong-hun An, Smith took heart with the early Saturday tee-off.

"I didn't strike the way I wanted to today, but I putted well,'' Smith said.

"The course is starting to firm up, which is good. I made a couple of good ones coming in, but it was a bit of a bummer to bogey the last. I got that little squirty shot going for some reason, and I'll go to the range to fix that up a little.

"We'll get on the fresh greens tomorrow, hopefully shoot a score and get myself back in it.

"It seems to be my problem of late where I get a couple of good holes, get some momentum, then back it up with a bogey. It's quite frustrating. I don't know what I have to do to get rid of it, I just need to grind it out more.''

Smith knew even or one-over would ensure he survived the cut, but the initial $8 favourite with the bookies looked headed for an early exit.

He failed to take advantage of the morning start on Thursday to shoot a 72.

His father Des quipped his son would be happy regardless if he could have his customary meat pie and beer after the round, but Smith said a cold had put him off that ritual and he would opt for an early night.

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