Cameron Smith in fine form at The Northern Trust.
Cameron Smith in fine form at The Northern Trust.

Cameron Smith's FedEx surge not enough

CAMERON Smith has finished his round in a share of third place in the late stages of the final round at the PGA Tour's Northern Trust event in New Jersey.

Playing in the second-to-last group at Ridgewood Country Club, Smith got to within two shots of runaway winner Bryson DeChambeau earlier, but had to settle for a two-under 69 and a 13-under total.

Staked a four-shot lead, DeChambeau never let anyone closer than two shots Sunday, and closed with a 2-under 69 for a four-shot victory in the FedEx Cup playoff opener.

His second victory of the year moved DeChambeau to the top of the FedEx Cup standings and boosted his bid to be in Paris at the end of next month for the Ryder Cup.

DeChambeau narrowly missed qualifying for the U.S. team. Jim Furyk announces three captain's picks a week from Tuesday, and it will be hard to ignore a 24-year-old Californian with victories at the Memorial and a FedEx Cup playoff event.

Smith's fellow Queenslander Adam Scott was in a tie for fifth at 12 under, an eagle at the par-5 17th hole helping him to a two-under 69.

Jason Day carded a lacklustre even-par 71 to finish with an eight-under total at the event he won in 2015.

Marc Leishman signed off in style with a 67 elevating the world No.18 to five- under, while 14-times major winner Tiger Woods finished 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 playoffs.