Jordan Smith opened with a bogey-free 66 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam and will take a one-shot lead into the second round of the Tropheee Hassan II.
The 26-year old Englishman, who started his day on the back, carded seven birdies, highlighted by four gains in a five-hole stretch on Nos. 3, 4, 6, and 7 en route to the day’s low number at 7-under par.
“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,” said Smith, whose sole title came in 2017 at the Porsche European Open.
“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.”
Spaniard Alejandro Canizares was one off the pace after a bogey-free 67 which included six birdies. He was tied with American Sean Crocker, who carded four birdies and added an eagle on the par-5 12th hole.
Stephen Gallacher was even-par on his opening round, but sandwiched an albatross between two birdies on his final three holes to reach 5 under, alongside alongside Frenchman Mattieu Pavon and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari.
Top-5 Leaders: Round One
1. Jordan Smith -7
2. Alejandro Canizares -6
2. Sean Crocker -6
4. Stephen Gallacher -5
4. Mattieu Pavon -5
4. Edoardo Molinari -5