Cameron Smith is adamant Augusta is where he finds his “mojo” as he prepares for a barrage when he fronts the wider golf media at the Masters next Monday.
The world No.5 is the only LIV golf player who was asked to do a press conference in the main media centre by Masters officials, with the six former champions now part of Greg Norman’s rebel circuit all overlooked, and was only too happy to step up.
Having already called out the critics who don’t believe LIV is “real golf” Smith, after shooting an opening round of two-under at the LIV event in Orlando, said he was doing a “good job of letting golf be golf” amid all the outside noise.
Another former Masters champ, Fred Couples, has been particularly savage on Smith, which the Queenslander hasn’t missed.
“Considering I’ve never met him, he’s been very strong on me,” Smith said.
“I do hear some stuff from time to time. But the further I can stay away from golf and reading all the stuff is better for me and it’s worked in the past, so there’s no reason for, you know, for me to switch it up.”
What’s also worked well for Smith in the past is finding his best stuff at Augusta and while he knows he hasn’t played to his “potential” through four events in 2023, he’s already looking forward to the good vibes he always feels at the Masters.
Smith tied for third last year, was runner-up in 2020 and is the only player in Masters history to shoot four rounds in the 60s.
It’s why his confidence is already growing, if only a confident vibe, before he lobs at Augusta next Monday,
“Augusta for me, has kind of been a bit of a springboard into most of my seasons,” Smith said in Orlando.
“I haven’t necessarily played I guess nice golf heading into it a lot of times but I’ve ended up being there and, and found my kind of mojo and then had a really good season from then on out.
“So I’m just looking forward to getting back to next week and kind of getting that creative kind of mind going again.”
He knows he’s not at his best and needs to work on “a few areas of my game that just need a little bit of cleaning up”.
But he was also adamant the Orange County National layout, which is a long way from the quality and difficulty of Augusta, was as good a place as any to prepare for another Masters tilt.
“This golf course the way it is today and how it will play the next couple days would be really good for that,” he said.
“And then obviously three days before we get started, so yeah, it’d be it’ll be good. I think by the time I get there and the pressure comes on, I’ll be good.”