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28 Nov - 1 Dec, 2024

02 Dec 2022 | Australian Open |

Tired Smith faces nervous wait

by Australian Golf Media

Cameron Smith Kingston Heath image
Cameron Smith during his second round at Kingston Heath today.

By Tony Webeck at Kingston Heath

He’s more accustomed to contending for trophies but Cameron Smith will spend Friday afternoon monitoring the cut-line after a frustrating second round of the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.

For the second day in succession Smith struggled to find the swing that has delivered five wins in 2022, conceding the excitement of last week’s Australian PGA Championship victory at Royal Queensland.

He began to exhilarate the large gallery with consecutive birdies after the turn at Kingston Heath but bogeys at four and eight and a closing birdie at nine saw him post 2-over for 36 holes.

That put him outside the cut-line as he signed his card, his weekend plans now dependent on those still on course at Kingston Heath and Victoria and the cut pushing out by one more stroke.

“I’m crossing my fingers,” said Smith.

“If it stays like this I don't think I’m going to be playing on the weekend.

“I don't think it’s going to go out two shots, unless this wind really blows up. We’ll just wait and see.

“It’s just kind of all hit me at once and just got a little bit tired.

“I need to play better than that even when I am tired. That was pretty rubbish out there today. It’s probably the easiest this place is going to get.”

As playing partners Adrian Meronk and Ryan Fox plundered seven birdies and an eagle across their front nine, Smith made the lone birdie at 13 but dropped shots at 10, 14 and 16 to turn in 2-over.

He was even par after birdies at one and two but battled his way into the clubhouse and must now play a waiting game.

“I tend to really struggle on back-to-back weeks I think because I do put so much into that first week,” Smith said of his hectic homecoming and third Joe Kirkwood Cup.

“I obviously really wanted to play well last week so it’s something I definitely need to work on. Getting more mentally prepared for the week after is definitely something that can improve.

“I’ve played a lot more golf than I thought I would have at the start of the year, so I’m looking forward to four or five weeks off here and just kind of mentally reset.

“The brain’s been going pretty hard the last few months so it would be a good time to sit down on a beach somewhere and have a few margaritas.”

Despite a bogey on his opening hole at Kingston Heath David Micheluzzi maintained his position at the top of the leaderboard with Kiwi Josh Geary and West Australian Haydn Barron five-under through 36 holes.

The big mover in the morning was world No.56 Adrian Meronk who shot six-under 66 at Kingston Heath to rise 97 spots and inside the top 10.

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