Cam Smith surged into the lead in Hong Kong on Thursday alongside fellow LIV golfer Eugenio Chacarra. A pair of 7-under 63s put the two at the top of the leaderboard at Hong Kong Golf Club.
The 2022 British Open champ, who is teeing it up at this event for the first time since 2014, carded eight birdies and one bogey while Chacarra played his round bogey-free. In Smith’s last competitive start, he placed T30 at LIV’s Miami event in the stroke play portion. His last victory came in August at LIV’s Bedminster tournament, where he won by seven shots.
“Played really solid,” Smith said. “Was able to put in some good work the first few days while I was here. It worked out today.”
Although Smith is returning to the venue for the first time in a decade this week, he said it’s one of his favorites.
“The course is very refreshing. It’s nice not having to slug your driver on every hole, and actually having to figure some stuff out. it was tricky out there today, a little gusty. It’s a cool track. It’s one of my favorites and hopefully we get no rain.”
Chacarra’s hot start comes at no surprise, as the 23-year-old’s game has been trending all summer long. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy won the Asian Tour’s St. Andrews Bay Championship in August.
“Hard not to be happy with the round at seven under,” he said. “I think I have been playing well the last couple months and a half.”
Smith and Chacarra are not the only LIV golfers in the field in Hong Kong. Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Andy Ogletree, who won the Asian Tour’s International Series to earn a 2024 LIV roster spot, are all teeing it up as well.