Cape Town – Cameron Smith is confident he can continue his solid run of form as he prepares to defend his Australian PGA Championship crown in front of family and friends this week.
The world No 33, who arrived on the Gold Coast following a tied second finish as half of Team Australia at the Melbourne World Cup of Golf, is excited to be back at home and the familiar surroundings of RACV Royal Pines.
“I’ve been playing really good all year basically, the last couple years. I compete with those guys every week and it’s not that I don’t think there’s necessarily a group of us that are like that’s what we are. I think we’re all just good competitors and we love the good thing about Australian golfers is we love seeing everyone play well,” said Smith.
Smith overcame Jordan Zunic in a play-off after a dramatic final round to claim the Kirkwood Cup – the oldest trophy in Australian Professional Golf – with the Queensland native three shots off the lead on the final day before defeating fellow Australian Zunic at the second play-off hole.
The 25-year-old has been a consistent performer on the world stage since, with three top 20 finishes to his name at this event, and has gained valuable knowledge from partnering fellow Australian Marc Leishman at the World Cup last week.
“My next goal for myself is to make myself a top 20 player in the world. I’ve made myself a top 50 player in the world, which was the goal for the last couple years. Finally got that done earlier this year,” said Smith.
“Obviously, getting that far up is a really big step and something that I want to do, but definitely not a time frame thing. I’m just trying to make myself better every day. If it happens, it happens.”
The world No 21 joins Smith in the field this week after already notching up his first win on the 2019 PGA Tour last month.
Meanwhile Major champion Geoff Ogilvy, a winner of this event in 2008, will tee it up for the first time since 2012 as he looks to revitalise his golf career in Australia and on the global stage.
The 2006 US Open champion also urged Australian sports fans take note of rising star Smith, believing the Queenslander is on the verge of becoming a top ten player in the world.