The 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Yr Xander Schauffele has come out swinging towards the “Sophomore Jinx.”

Schauffele and two others path Cameron Smith by a shot after Smith fired an eight-underneath sixty four within the opening spherical of the CIMB Basic in Kuala Lumpur Thursday.

Smith fired eight birdies – gaining three photographs during the last 5 holes – to face a stroke away from Schauffele, Keegan Bradley and Poom Saksansin.

Smith gained his first PGA Tour victory on the Zurich Basic staff occasion in Might. A local of Australia, Smith stated he performs snug in Malaysia.

“Course is nice, it’s actually scorching right here. Simply tried to maintain the hydration up, drunk as a lot water as I probably might,” stated Smith, based on the Australian Related Press.

“The plan from there was actually easy: simply hit some fairways and (be) actually aggressive into the greens and yeah, my ball-putting was actually good in the present day.

“I’ve clearly performed fairly a bit in Asia so I really feel prefer it’s simply again to what it was a number of years in the past.”

PGA Tour Participant of the Yr Justin Thomas put himself behind a tall wall in his quest for a “three-peat” right here after posting a 2-beneath 70. He gained in 2016 and 2015 with a mixed rating of forty nine underneath,

Schauffele, 23, beat Thomas by a stroke to win the Tour Championship in Atlanta final month. Schauffele opened with a birdie Thursday, chipped-in from off the inexperienced for an additional at his third gap and rolled on from there.

“It was boring, which I assume is an effective factor out right here,” he stated.

“I hit a whole lot of fairways, sort of made a simple day trip of it. I attempted to repeat the whole lot (Justin) did as I figured he’s a superb man to mimic out right here.”