Smail uncertain leading into Michael Hill New Zealand Open


New Zealand’s top ranked golfer David Smail will tee off in the NZ Open early tomorrow morning uncertain of the quality of his game.

Having missed playing at Clearwater at the New Zealand PGA Championships last weekend because of sponsor commitments, Smail said he would have liked to have been at The Hills on Monday, rather than late Tuesday, and had a chance to play a couple of rounds in advance of the Open.

“I have been practising a fair bit, but have been struggling and I don’t know why. My driver is going all right, but not the rest of my game. I’ve hit a few balls now and starting to feel better,” he says.

Smail likes the lay out of The Hills course, but it was not kind to him last year.

“I didn’t play well last year and I had been playing well coming into the tournament. There are some tricky holes out there,” he says.

Smail played in three of the four majors last year, finished fifth on the 2009 Australasian Tour Order of Merit and 17th on the Japanese Tour. Although he has not won a tournament since 2005, Smail was runner-up three times last year, twice in Japan and at the HSBC NZ PGA.