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Smith advances in PGA playoffs opener

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AUSTRALIAN Cameron Smith advances in the  second midway through the final round of the first PGA playoff.

Cameron Smith is chipping away at Bryson DeChambeau’s sizeable lead and hoping for a miracle midway through the final round at the US PGA Tour’s Northern Trust event in New Jersey.

Playing in the penultimate group at Ridgewood Country Club, Smith has picked up two shots in his first seven holes to sit at 13-under-par and four shots back of De Chambeau.

Smith started the final day at the FedEx Cup playoffs opener five adrift of DeChambeau, who made birdie on his first two holes to race to 18 under the card, only to bogey the par-4 third.

Smith sits in outright second and one shot ahead of Ryan Palmer, who carded a six-under 65 to enter the clubhouse at 12 under tied with Aaron Wise and Tony Finau – both still out on course.

Smith’s countryman Adam Scott, the 2013 winner of this event, is even for the day and at 10 under his hopes of reeling in DeChambeau are all but over.

Next best of the Australians is 2015 champion Jason Day, who is playing purely for FedEx Cup points having dropped a shot through 12 holes to sit at seven under.

Marc Leishman signed off in style with a 67 elevating the world No.18 to five-under, while 14-time major winner Tiger Woods finished a shot back at four under courtesy of a 70.

The Northern Trust is the first of four tournaments which comprise the $US67 million ($A91 million) FedEx Cup finals.

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