26 Oct 2021 | Professional golf |

Smith edges closer towards career milestone

by PGA of Australia

Cam Smith driving at the CJ Cup.

By Tony Webeck

Australia’s highest-ranked male player Cameron Smith has edged closer towards a major milestone in his career despite not playing last weekend.

When he tied for ninth at the CJ Cup the 2019 Masters runner-up moved up to a career high of No.22 in the Official World Golf Rankings, a mark he has bettered again without taking a swing.

The updated world rankings have Smith sitting at No.21 and within reach of company that the 28-year-old is more than deserving of sharing.

With three PGA Tour wins, top-five finishes in three of the four majors and two Australian PGA Championships Smith’s career accomplishments are impressive yet that top-20 status remains a craving he is eager to sate.

“I still haven’t cracked the top 20 in the world, which is frustrating more than anything else,” said Smith, whose next start will be the Houston Open starting November 11.

“For me, I feel like I’ve done enough to be in there. I’d love to do that first of all.”

Considered by many as the most likely Australian male player to next win a major, Smith’s own measure of success is based more around consistency than pure tournament wins.

A playoff loss at the opening event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs put Smith in the frame to become Australia’s first FedEx Cup champion, ultimately finishing 14th after starting the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in fifth position.

“The biggest thing for people on the PGA Tour is just to try to make it to East Lake every year,” said Smith, who has qualified for the Tour Championship in three of the past four years.

“If you make it to East Lake, you’ve had a cracking year and you’ve done something right.

“You’ve probably generally won and the rest of the season’s been really solid.”

In three starts at East Lake Smith’s best result was this year when he was tied for 17th, the anomaly of enjoying a golf course that he hasn’t performed well at a puzzle he is still trying to solve.

“It’s a weird one,” Smith adds.

“I feel like I have a love-hate relationship with East Lake.

“I feel like I love the golf course, but I never really seemed to play that well around there.

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with that side of things, I think it’s just a very difficult golf course and I haven’t really quite figured it out yet.

“It’s been a very frustrating place for me to play golf.”

Matt Jones moved up three positions to No.82 in the world by virtue of his top-20 finish at the ZOZO Championship while Kiwi Daniel Hillier rocketed from 391st in the world to No.246 courtesy of his maiden win on the Challenge Tour.

In the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings Minjee Lee remains No.6 in the world after another strong result at the BMW Ladies Championship in Korea as Hannah Green dropped one spot to No.26.

Top 10 Aussies in world rankings

Official World Golf Rankings 21          Cameron Smith 36          Marc Leishman 39          Adam Scott 57          Lucas Herbert 58          Min Woo Lee 70          Cameron Davis 82          Matt Jones 89          Jason Day 140        Jason Scrivener 218        Wade Ormsby 302        Maverick Antcliff

Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking 6            Minjee Lee 26          Hannah Green 82          Stephanie Kyriacou 92          Su Oh 122        Katherine Kirk 135        Gabriela Ruffels 170        Sarah Kemp 345        Karis Davidson 422        Whitney Hillier 440        Robyn Choi

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