show me:

Smith dreaming of Masters glory to join golf's legends

3 minute read

Australian golf ace Cameron Smith believes a scheduling tweak has put the LIV Golf stars back on a level playing field with their rivals ahead of the Masters.

CAMERON SMITH. Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images

Steeling himself for "the best week of the year", Cameron Smith can't disguise his desperation to join golf royalty with a career-defining Masters triumph.

Already boasting three top-five finishes from seven trips to Augusta National, Smith is acutely aware he returns next week with a rare opportunity to complete one of golf's most magical doubles.

Australia's former world No.2 can join American Zach Johnson and legends Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as only the seventh player to win the British Open at St Andrews as well as the Masters.

"It'd be unreal. The Open at St Andrews is pretty special. To double it up with a green jacket would just really be unbelievable," Smith said on a zoom call from Florida on Tuesday.

"I grew up watching it, didn't miss a shot there from about, I reckon I was five or six years old, all the way through to before I turned pro.

"Yeah, it's just such a cool place and to have the opportunity to do it in my eighth time there, I desperately want to get it and it'd be awesome if I did."

After finishing fifth in 2018 in the first sign he possessed the creativity and world-class short game needed to tame Augusta, Smith was joint runner-up two years later with Sung-Jae Im.

But he never truly threatened runaway winner Dustin Johnson during that COVID-19 Masters in 2020 played in the winter of November instead of the spring sunshine of April.

His closest shave really came two years ago when he tied for third after playing in the final group on Sunday with eventual champion Scottie Scheffler, the world No.1 and hot 2024 favourite.

A ring-rusty Smith never looked likely last year, finishing in a share of 34th, after arriving lacking the competitive fire following his move to LIV Golf seventh months earlier.

He feels a different player this time around and reckons he's ready to challenge again at the season's first major.

"Last year we only got to play three events before the Masters. This will be our fifth event this week before the Masters," Smith said ahead of LIV Miami starting on Friday.

"It's definitely one of the things we spoke about as a whole group.

"So it's a little bit more tournament time just being competitive. It will help a lot in itself, but also just obviously picking the clubs up a little bit earlier.

"There was a few things that needed to change and they (LIV) changed it, so it's been great for us."

The 30-year-old is also savouring the opportunity to compete against all the world's best players for one of the few times in 2024 when the LIV stars banned from the PGA Tour are welcomed back into the fold.

"It's unbelievable, probably the best week of the year for everything," Smith said.

"As soon as the New Year begins, as soon as you pick the clubs back up, kind of after Christmas, you're straight into it and you're definitely thinking about Augusta.

"I don't think there's really anything specific. It's kind of in the back of your mind.

"Obviously there's tournaments in between the New Year and Augusta that you're trying to prepare for as well.

"But the last three weeks I've been trying to get out on the course a little bit more and really focus on some kind of shot, shaping and controlling flight, which I think is pretty crucial for playing good around there."

Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit