Smith returned to the scene of his early Asian Tour playing days where he continued to produce another assured performance with a sparkling 64.
Once known as "Jordan Spieth's friend", the Louisville, Kentucky-born golfer returns to Southeast Asia as the PGA Tour's player of the year and in the wake of an impressive debut for the United States in their dominant Presidents Cup win.
Xander Schauffele has only had two weeks off since winning the Tour Championship, and his Rookie of the Year trophy hasn't even had a chance to start collecting dust yet.
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A fine approach shot on the 14th left a short putt for another gain and he closed his round with back-to-back birdies to hold a one-shot lead at the end of a first day that was played in stifling conditions.
"I was supposed to make a list of goals before I came out here and I failed to do so, which might be a good thing", Schauffele said. "This is a big event but there is no cut so I'm only feeling 50 per cent pressure".
"The longest hole here for me is on the 13th hole".
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