LIV Adelaide 2023, Australia, golf news; Cameron Smith already confident ahead of British Open defence

Sportem
Sportem
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Cameron Smith doesn’t defend his British Open title until July, but has already devoted plenty of thought to how ready he and his game needs to be when he gets to Royal Liverpool.

And while carding seven birdies in a second-round 66 at the LIV event in Adelaide on Saturday left him 11-shots off the runaway leader Talor Gooch, everything he saw and felt added to a growing confidence that despite results, his game was on the upward trajectory it needed to be.

The masses that have followed Smith through the opening two days continue to surprise the Queenslander who baulked at a suggestion the numbers were “Tiger-like”, referencing the greatest needle-mover in world sport.

But they were certainly big enough to be something of a day one distraction, and it was only in the second round Smith, who did on onstage shoey with DJ Fisher on Friday night to avoid another on-course attempt, said he “embraced” it a little better.

“I think yesterday I was maybe trying to focus a little bit too much on the golf and trying to make stuff happen. I think I was a little bit more relaxed today, and yeah, it worked out,” he said after the second round at The Grange.

“There’s a lot of people there. A lot of those fairways look quite narrow. For me, it’s pretty unreal that people would want to come out and watch me play golf.”

They watched him play better golf too, the sort of golf which is trending the way he wants, with a podium finish looming and more birdies likely to flow in the final round.

: Cam Smith of Ripper GC in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Smith, who has finished 26th and 29th in the two previous LIV events, said he even saw good stuff at the Masters, where bad-weather played havoc, and he finished in a tie for 34th.

“I feel as though the last couple of weeks, particularly the Masters, I feel as though I had lots of really high-quality stuff in there. There was just lots of rubbish, as well, which is not typically how I play golf,” he said.

“I usually plot my way around, minimal mistakes and make a few putts. Yeah, it was good to see that today and just kind of reinforce, I guess, to the whole team, not only myself but the people around me that we‘re on the right track. It’s really not that far off. It never really is.”

Nor is the British Open, which may be more than two months away, but is never far from Smith’s mind.

“I’ve already thought about it, I promise you,” he said,

“Yeah, there’s a big few months coming up for a lot of the boys out here. We’re playing a lot of golf, which is nice. I guess that tournament readiness feels like it’s really there.

Cameron Smith of Australia kisses the The Claret after his British Open triumph (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“Yeah, then it’s just a little flick of the switch and everything is back in line, and it was how it was last year.”

There’s momentum coming from all areas for Smith too. A big Australian event is big for Australians and the Adelaide success is something he feels deeply, which puts him in a perfect headspace for success.

“I didn’t think it was going to quite be like this. I think the course being presented how it is, all the players love it. The crowds are so energetic. Probably the most energetic crowd I’ve ever played in,” he said.

“I mean, I would go as far as to say this is best event I’ve ever played. I think I’m probably biased a little bit being from Australia, but this is what LIV Golf is about, and this is what we need every week.”

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