Friday, 26 April 2019
Trophée Hassan II  (Getty Images)
Trophée Hassan II (Getty Images)

Almost aces, bogey-free brilliance and an awesome albatross were the order of the day as the Trophée Hassan II got under way on Thursday.

Here is everything you need to know from Rabat as we head into day two at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

Smith surges into the lead

Jordan Smith was the star of the day as he posted a blemish-free 66 to move to seven under and lead by one. After holing a long putt to save par on the tenth - his first - the Englishman never looked back as the putter stayed hot and his iron play was pretty impressive too. After making all seven cuts in 2019 up to this week, the 26-year-old will now be looking to put himself in pole position to add to the Porsche European Open title he won in 2017.

Masters of Morocco

If he is to stay in top spot on Friday, Smith will have to hold off some players who are very familiar with tasting victory in north Africa. Edoardo Molinari was the winner here in 2017 and he was also bogey free on day one to get to four under. Alejandro Cañizares is another former winner of this event in 2014 - at Golf du Palais Royal - and he was two shots better off than Molinari after also getting round without fault. The Spaniard regained his card by winning the Qualifying School and his resurgence shows no sign of slowing.

Gallacher and son

Since Stephen Gallacher's son Jack became his caddie, everything has being going right for the Scotsman. After claiming his first European Tour title in five years at the Hero Indian Open, he bagged the first albatross of his professional career in Morocco on Thursday. After being handed a three iron by his 18-year-old offspring, the 2014 Ryder Cup winner holed his second shot on the par five eighth. That would form part of a run that saw Gallacher pick up five shots in his last three holes, and he heads into day two just two shots off the lead.

A pair of lips

Cañizares had a stroke of luck at the sixth when his 18 foot putt sat on the lip of the hole for what felt like an age and then decided to descend.

Christofer Blomstrand was not so fortunate when his tee shot on the ninth looked like it would bring an ace and then lipped out.

Golf, eh?

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T2SURI, JulianUSA18-7
5LIPSKY, DavidUSA18-5
T6KAWAMURA, MasahiroJPN18-4

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