It has been an excellent year for Australian golfer Cameron Smith, as he is now inside the top 50 of the official world ranking. The man from Brisbane is 27th on the list. He will be setting his sights on reaching the top 10 in 2021.
Smith started 2020 in excellent style, winning just his second-ever PGA Tour tournament in the Sony Open in Hawaii, his first on his own. The Aussie was two shots behind with two holes to play, but an excellent birdie on the 18th helped him force a playoff with the faltering Brendan Steele.
The play-off in Honolulu back in January was settled on the 10th hole. A par was enough to seal the title and get his year off to a fantastic start. Smith will be returning that tournament next month where he will be looking to become only the sixth man in history to win it more than once.
US Masters Performance Proved Smith’s Class
Although he did not have a title at the end of the weekend like in Hawaii, Smith’s best performance of the year arguably came in the US Masters last month. He finished second in the Major Championship behind the impressive Dustin Johnson. Smith made some Masters history by becoming the first golfer to shoot four rounds in the 60s (67-68-69-69) in the tournament. This proves how well he played across those four days at Augusta National Golf Club.
The Australian was one of the joint leaders after the second round with a score of -9. He shot a final round of 69, which left him five strokes short of Johnson. It was his best finish in a Major, with his previous best being his fourth place at the 2015 US Open.
Augusta is a real test of how well a golfer is playing and Smith proved he is at the top of his game. He drove the ball very well off the tee, particularly on the par-five holes, while he withstood the test the greens provided across the four days. His performance will give him a lot of confidence in 2021 that a maiden Major title could come his way. Smith will be back in Georgia in April for the next renewal of the Masters where he is 55/1 in the golf betting to land the Green Jacket.
Smith Will Take Inspiration from Scott and Day
Adam Scott and Jason Day became the latest winners from Australia to prevail in a Major Championship when they won the 2013 US Masters and 2015 US PGA Championship, respectively. Smith will be hoping to use those successes as inspiration as he bids to add his name to golf’s roll of honour.
Although Scott and Day have just one win each in the golf’s big four events, they have both been dominant forces in the sport. Smith will have seen how they have been able to rise to the top end of the world rankings and will try to emulate that.
Scott is currently the highest-ranked Australian at 15th in the standings at the time of writing. It may not belong though before Smith surpasses the 40-year-old and even becomes one of the biggest names in the sport alongside the likes of Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.