A Queensland State of Origin win rounded out a big week for Cameron Smith who is within touching distance of his next golfing goal after a stunning Masters performance.
Smith celebrated his Augusta scoring record, and Masters runner-up finish, with a “few beers around the fire” at home taking in messages of congratulations, including one from cricket legend Shane Warne.
The 27-year-old achieved something six-time champ and five-time winner Tiger Woods never could at Augusta, becoming the first player in Masters history to card four rounds in the 60s.
His final score of 15-under was still five shots behind Masters winner Dustin Johnson, but lifted Smith nearly 20 places on the world golf rankings to 27 and a big step closer to the top 20, one of many new goals he’s set for 2021 and beyond.
“I would love to finally crack the top 20 in the world, I still haven’t done that,” Smith said from his home in Jacksonville on Thursday, still buzzing after getting up at 4am to watch the Maroons seal the Origin series.
“I’ve been close a few times. Obviously it’s fluctuated a lot over the last couple years given some performances, but yeah, that would be a cool one to just crack to say I’ve been there and hopefully stay there for a very long time.”
Cameron Smith just hit one of the greatest golf shots you'll ever seepic.twitter.com/oPo2oXsRpN
A two-time Australian PGA winner, and a winner on the US PGA Tour in Hawaii in January, talent to mix it with the best has never been an issue for Smith.
But he conceded he had underestimated the need to “be happy” off the course to play his best.
For Smith that means more time with mates, and less thinking about golf all the time, which he practiced in two weeks off before the Masters with good effect.
“Yeah, I think I‘ve underestimated I think how important it is to just be just do your stuff off the course as well, just be happy with your normal life. Obviously that has a huge effect on how you play and how you perform,” he said.
“So those two weeks off before, just not anything major, just kind of went about my business, just took a good week off the golf clubs, went and hung out with some mates and just got the head right before there.
“I think that was the really big key.”
Wearing his maroon shirt in the final round at Augusta Cameron Smith almost chopped in for birdie on the final hole on Mondya morning. Pic: Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
Smith didn’t hang around long at Augusta last Sunday, driving the four hours home where the enormity of what he achieved, and what he’d missed out on, sunk in.
“All the guys I grew up playing golf with, they‘ve all sent me a message,” he said. “
“The support’s been unreal, especially from like the local golf clubs and obviously Queensland and the rest of Australia, the support’s been unreal.
“Yeah, it’s kind of cool to see that on that level, what it means to some people. It’s kind of nice.
“It was great to be that close, I guess, although I was close but far away in the sense that I still lost by five shots. That was a cool experience in a major to be right up there and giving it a crack on Sunday and still walk away with a pretty decent round.”
What a shot from Cameron Smith.
He birdies No. 7 and is just two back at #TheMasters. pic.twitter.com/U55hMUBQSb
Smith will only pick up his clubs once more this year, in a team event with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman, before starting 2021 in Hawaii and defending his title at the Sony Open.
But he won’t return to Australia for Christmas with his family, or defend his PGA title in Brisbane, which was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I‘d love to come home, I miss my family, my friends very much, but yeah, I just can’t see it happening until the quarantine opens up,” Smith said.
He said watching the Maroons victory at Suncorp just reminded him of what he was missing.
“I watched the whole game. It was on at 4:00 in the morning,” Smith said.
“I went back into bed and I was just being all chirpy and (his girlfriend) Jordan said, “Oh, they must have won.” I was like, ”Yeah, you‘re right they won.” I was just happy for them.
“It was a cracking game, but obviously everyone was writing them off and it’s kind of cool when Queenslanders have a knack case of doing that, so it’s good.”
Originally published asOrigin after Augusta is extra buzz for Smith
Source: Read Full Article