Ormsby, Smith hot on WGC leaders' heels

Australians Wade Ormsby and Cameron Smith are just two off the pace after the opening round of the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida.

WADE ORMSBY of Australia.
WADE ORMSBY of Australia. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Wade Ormsby was excited just to learn a few weeks ago he had qualified for the WGC-Workday Championship event in Florida.

That, is history now as the South Australian is perched in the top seven of the tournament - above some of the game's biggest names - after the opening round at The Concession.

Ormsby fired a four-under 68, along with compatriot Cameron Smith, to be two behind leaders Webb Simpson and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel, Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner occupy third spot.

Then comes Ormsby, Smith, world No.2 Jon Rahm and 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed, among others.

The 40-year-old scored a lucky break when the World Golf Championships event moved from Mexico to Florida because of COVID-19, which freed up two spots from the Asian Tour.

"Once (the event) it was moved over here we were going to have two spots from the Asian Tour which is fantastic with these World Golf events," said Ormsby.

"Had an inkling, but you never know with the confirmation waiting to come through.

"It's always nice to be up there in big events. I've been around a little while so I think if I play well I'd like to be in the top half there somewhere. To be there where I am, yeah I'm very happy."

Ormsby posted three birdies in a row starting at the second, before a bogey on five stopped his charge. But he commenced another run of birdies on 8, 9 and 10 before a bogey on 11.

"I played really nicely early. Obviously three quick birdies there at the start and a sloppy one at five. I played really solid, just didn't hole the putts, but overall happy," added Ormsby, who missed only three fairways in the round.

Smith's round comprised five birdies and a lonesome bogey on the ninth, his last hole.

The Queenslander drained a 45-foot putt on the first along with more birdies on 11, 13, 16 and 17.

"It was really good the first 12, 13 holes and then just got a little bit scrappy at the end. Nothing a few balls on the range can't fix,' said Smith.

Chasing them, a shot behind, are former world No.1 and 18-time PGA tour winner Rory McIlroy and 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen.

Jason Day is at one under while Adam Scott and Marc Leishman were even par for the day.

World No.1 Dustin Johnson struggled and was tied 64th at five over.