Cam Smith has put his Masters agony behind him and is intent on winning another Zurich Classic with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman.
Cam Smith says he has overcome his Masters disappointment as he focuses on defending his Zurich Classic crown with fellow Australian and good friend Marc Leishman.
In contention to win at Augusta earlier this month, Queenslander Smith shot a final-round 73 to finish in a tie for third and five strokes adrift of winner Scottie Scheffler, who he played alongside in the last group on the final day.
A week later, Smith missed the cut at the RBC Heritage event in South Carolina.
However, the world’s No.5 ranked player, who has already won twice on the PGA Tour this year, said he had “learned” from his latest Masters experience.
“I’ve done everything I could reflecting on it,” Smith said.
“I wouldn’t have changed anything; just a bad swing at the wrong time. That’s just
how golf is sometimes. It can be pretty penal, especially coming down the stretch of a major championship.
“It was a tough pill to swallow, but I think I’ve learned from it, and I’m ready for the next one.”
Smith said his game felt “really solid”.
“I feel like my game’s in a spot where we can win this week and I can win again throughout the season,” he said.
“(I) don’t need to change anything, just keep getting better every day and hopefully get another win.”
Smith and Leishman – who tee off late on Thursday night (AEDT) – also paired last year in New Orleans to win the Zurich Classic, a teams event which consists of alternating four-ball and foursomes rounds.
“It’s nice to be back. Leish and I fell in love with this place a little bit last year; the way it played, especially firm and fast and a bit windy,” said Smith, who also won the event in 2017 with Swede Jonas Blixt.
“Looks like more of the same this week, so we’re looking forward to getting back out there and trying to win this thing again.
“You have to be quite creative into these greens when it’s blowing and when it starts to firm up. I think I play my best golf when I’m just kind of being creative and feeling like I can just be a kid out there and play some shots.”
Adding to the Australian pair’s determination to successfully defend their title will be the chance to do it in front of their fathers.
Leishman said: “Both of our dads are here as well this week. We’ve got friends here as well. I guess when you’re defending, it’s a bit more of a special week with the people coming in.
“My dad’s never been here when I’ve won an event, so that would be pretty cool if we could do that.”