8 Jun 2009

Smail goes close again

7:50 am on 8 June 2009

New Zealand golfer David Smail has again just missed out, finishing one stroke behind the winner Yuji Igarashi at the UBS Championship on the Japan Tour.

Six months after blowing a late three-shot lead at the Australian Open, Smail again led by the same margin after three birdies in the first four holes at Shishido Hills on Sunday.

But the US Open-bound Hamiltonian made four bogeys in a frustrating seven-hole stretch from No.6, and could only par the final six holes for a one-over-par 72, one behind Japan's Igarashi.

Smail has now finished second or third no fewer than five times in the past six months, but remains winless in more than four years.

Still, he is in pretty good form heading to next week's US Open, and he described the Shishido Hills rough as a perfect preparation for what he expects will be an even more difficult set-up at Bethpage in New York.