28 Nov 2023 | Men's Australian Open | Australian Open | Professional golf |
Reflective Davis returns to happy hunting ground
by Jimmy Emanuel
Cameron Davis was standing on the left side of The Australian Golf Club’s driving range back in 2017 preparing for a potential play-off when he learned that he had become the Australian Open champion at just 20 years of age.
Returning to The Australian this week, as well The Lakes Golf Club for the joint men’s and women’s ISPS HANDA Australian Open, Davis reflected on his past success at the 22-time host venue that is the primary site for this week.
“This is my first day back here, so I’m going to go down and do a little bit of practice, but I might have to take a moment to soak up a few memories from that spot,” Davis said Tuesday.
Those memories are ones Davis has utilised in compiling an impressive career to date that has included winning on the PGA Tour and representing the International team at the most recent Presidents Cup.
Struggling with his game for the majority of 2017, Davis used the victory over a stacked field to launch a global career that still has so much to play out in at just 28.
“It’s always so much fun coming back to a place where you’ve got that many good memories, defining moments in your career. This place really kick-started my whole professional career. I would say this is the place that helped me get on the PGA Tour basically,” he said.
Growing up in Sydney’s north and at a number of the city’s golf clubs in the area before finding the two courses he is most closely linked to in Roseville and Monash, Davis knows this week’s venues are as close to a home game as he will get in his national Open.
The Seattle-based Sydneysider confident that the familiar grass types and weather conditions play into his advantage in a field that includes the likes of Cam Smith, Adam Scott, defending champion Adrian Meronk and last week’s winner Min Woo Lee.
“I feel like it’s always really windy here,” Davis said.
“I feel like I’m a pretty good wind player in terms of shaping the ball around and judging wind conditions.
"That’s going to be a huge thing out here, because the greens are a little harder to hold, especially downwind.”
Knowing the conditions is part of the equation towards winning a tournament, with Davis outlining making more birdies than last week at Royal Queensland where he was tied for seventh behind Lee as another key factor.
Lee’s career trajectory much discussed in the days since he became the latest Fortinet Australian PGA Champion, with Davis hoping he is on a similar path himself. One that would get a great boost with a second Stonehaven Cup at ‘The Aussie’.
“I mean, I’m getting a lot of top-10s on the board right now. I feel like the next real step is winning, starting to get some more trophies at home,” Davis said.
“I’m starting to get myself in contention a lot more. I think the more you’re there, obviously the more comfortable you get and the more normal the level of golf that you play to get into that position, the more normal it seems to feel.
“Winning at any level I feel like is the next step, but obviously the ultimate goal is to try and get trophies in the majors.”
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