Cameron Smith’s double Aussie Titles
BY Anthony Powter | 16 Apr 2011
The eight stroke victory in the 2011 Australian Boy’s Amateur Championship for Cameron Smith is significant in a number of ways.
Firstly, it represents Smith’s swan song in the junior ranks, he turns 18 in August and will be ineligible for any more events. Second, winning the Australian Boy’s title adds to his victory last month at the Australian Amateur Stroke Championships to give the Queenslander the dynamic double of amateur titles, a feat that has not been achieved in recent times in Australian amateur golf history.
Smith was too strong against a field of 143 players during the four rounds of the Australian Boy’s Championship in Sydney firing rounds of 73-67-71-68 to finish at 9-under-par, eight strokes ahead of Jake Higginbottom who finished at 1-under-par after rounds of 73-70-73-71. Kade McBride and Adrian Lee finished in a tie for 3rd at 4-over-par, with Jordan McCarthy and Oliver Goss tied for 5th at 5-over-par.
“To win both titles is a real honour,” said Smith.
“I played solid all week with two low rounds. It’s pleasing to see where my game is at and I’m working of a few things in preparation for the Keperra Bowl and the Queensland state titles.”
Smith plays out of Wantima Country Club in Queensland under the watchful eye of his coach, Grant Field. The two have worked hard developing a more consistent game and the results are certainly flowing for Smith.
“I’ve mainly focused upon my consistency this summer,” says Smith.
“I’m happy with the way that I driving the ball and with my putting. If anything, I just need to keep my focus more on the course and reduce the silly mistakes that come into my game occasionally.”
Smith this Australian season has recorded three wins with the Australian Amateur Stroke, the Australian Boy’s Amateur, and the Victorian Junior Masters. Add into the mix top-20 finishes at the Riversdale Cup, Queensland PGA Championship, a runner-up finish at the Lake Macquarie Amateur and a third place finish at the China Amateur Open, it’s easy to appreciate Smith’s steady climb up the world amateur ranking that has him at 36th in the world and Australia’s 3rd ranked player, behind Matt Stieger (17th) and Ryan McCarthy (33rd).
Smith’s short term goals are to secure another win in Australia before heading to the tough US amateur circuit later in July. At present he’s secured starts at the Players Amateur and Porter Cup. He’s still in the process of seeking invitations which in itself is a challenge given the standing of these tournaments and the competitiveness to gain entry.
“I’m still figuring out my schedule,” says Smith.
“I’m certainly looking forward to playing in the US, but this season will miss the UK. It will be my first tour to the US and in playing these main events, although I’ve played internationally before as a junior with some success.”
At present Smith enjoys the lime light in holding both the Australian Boys and Australian Amateur Stroke title in the same year, which is reflective as to his prodigious talent. In recent times not other junior player has enjoyed such a standing, although Jason Day went close. Day as a junior had a stellar career, winning the 2006 Australian Amateur Stroke title in Hobart, two years after winning the 2004 Australian Boy’s title and since has move to establish himself as one of out main professionals on the PGA Tour.
Whilst making comparisons between athletes in sport is fraught with danger, Smith’s junior record combined with this recent string of main amateur results certainly sets the stage for a similar transition into the professional ranks to that of Day. Time will only tell, yet the name Cameron Smith is something we will be hearing and reading about more and more, especially when he hits the tough US amateur circuit later in the year.
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