Smith en route to his 9th place last year – photo Getty / PGA Tour
Not that finishing in a share of third at The Masters is anything to sneeze at, but Cameron Smith will no doubt be keen to overcome the disappointment of a mid-round stumble at Augusta National on Sunday and get back to his winning ways at the RBC Heritage Classic this weekend.
That he enjoys a solid record at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina may well have swayed his decision to play the event and perhaps a wish to repay the tournament for an early career invitation to the event may also have played its part in Smith being here.
Smith finished a very important 15th in one of his very first PGA Tour events and when without status on the tour at this course back in 2015 and a last round of 66 seeing him finish 9th last year highlights a golf course that offers good memories but he arrives after a couple of days rest to get over the demands of last Sunday.
“I think after last week especially being in contention the whole week gets quite mentally draining and just exhausting,” said Smith. “So, yeah, a couple days off I went back to Jacksonville, spent a day there with some buddies, my mom and my dad, and then we come up here yesterday afternoon and, yeah, took a pretty easy again.
Smith was asked how he was feeling after the near miss last week and was quick to point out that there were no real concerns.
“I don’t think I was down in the dumps. I was just frustrated. I feel as though I was one really good swing away from really contending and that’s just how golf is, especially around that golf course. I feel as though sometimes you can even hit really good golf shots and end up making bogeys and doubles around there.
“So, yeah, just a little bit frustrated. My game’s in a good spot, I’m happy with how I guess handled the situation after and yeah, I’m just really looking forward to competing again this week. That’s kind of in the rear-view mirror now.
“The last couple of months I felt really good with my game, I feel as though I’m playing the best golf of my life and I think I’m right where I need to be, just need to keep working hard and keep putting myself in good spots on Sundays.”
Smith and Cameron Davis are the only Australians in an event and on a golf course that has typically been good to Australians with Graham Marsh, Greg Norman, Peter Lonard and Aaron Baddeley, previous winners.
Davis plays the event for the second occasion having finished 25th last year after three of his four rounds in the 60’s. Davis made the cut on debut last week at The Masters last week and while his weekend rounds were disappointing he was not alone in struggling with the demands of Augusta National last week.
I fancy Dustin Johnson as a real chance to win this event for the first occasion this week. He played well at The Masters and was 4th at the Match Play and he appears to be returning to some of his best form.
Johnson has recorded 13 of his 16 rounds in the event in the 60’s.