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Smith fires to climb up PGA leaderboard

Cameron Smith shot an eight-under 63 to rocket up the leaderboard in the PGA’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

The Australian eagled the par-five 13th to go with seven birdies and a lone bogey in Friday’s second round at TPC Summerlin.

His 63 was the joint second best round of the day after co-leader Peter Malnati’s 62.

Smith’s nine-under 133 total leaves him five shots behind a five-way tie for the lead held by Malnati, Martin Laird (63), Patrick Cantlay (65), Brian Harman (63) and Austin Cook (65).

Both Scotland’s Laird and Malnati eagled the par-five ninth to stake their claims heading to the third round.

After safely finding the fairway, Laird’s five-iron from 238 yards avoided a greenside bunker and hit the front edge of the green before rolling to three feet.

“Obviously I wasn’t sure I could get that club there. I was just trying to hit out in front of the green and it came out really good and skipped up there to four feet,” Laird, who won the event in 2009, said of his approach shot at his last hole.

“That was a nice way (to) finish what was overall a very good day.”

Harman harnessed a steady putt to deliver a flawless round with eight birdies, telling reporters he would work to keep the momentum going through the weekend.

“You got to get it pin high and get a lot of chances, and I’m holing a few,” said Harman.

Overnight leader Bryson DeChambeau, in his first tournament since his US Open triumph three weeks ago, finished the day one stroke back from the lead after carding a four-under-par 67, with two eagles, a birdie and a bogey.

Defending champion Kevin Na (66) was four shots back after a round in which he birdied four of his final seven holes.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia (64), James Hahn (66), Nate Lashley (67), Stewart Cink (63) and Wyndham Clark (63) were all two shots back of the leaders tied at 12-under-par headed into the weekend.

Garcia, who last week claimed his 11th PGA Tour victory after a drought of more than three years, enjoyed a bogey-free trip around TPC Summerlin that included an eagle from 111 yards out at the par-four sixth hole.

Sydneysider Matt Jones had another productive day with his four-under 67 adding to his 67 in the first round.

He is six behind the leaders along with compatriot Cameron Davis, who shot a two-under 69.

Australians Craig Hocknull (70) and Jason Day (71) missed the cut.

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