06 Sep 2022 | Professional golf |
Smith gets top award nomination
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
Cameron Smith’s three-win season has earned the 29-year-old a nomination for the PGA TOUR Player of the Year award.
The Open champion at St Andrews in July, PLAYERS champion in March and record-setting winner of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January, Smith has been nominated alongside Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, winner of the FedEx Cup.
Starting the year ranked No.21 in the Official World Golf Rankings, the world No.2 will bring his extraordinary year to a close by headlining both the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club (November 24-27) and the ISPS HANDA Australian Open at Victoria and Kingston Heath golf clubs (December 1-4).
It will mark a homecoming three years in the making for the Brisbane native who is now in the running to become just the second Australian to be named PGA TOUR Player of the Year.
Voted on by PGA TOUR membership which competes in at least 12 tournaments in the season, Greg Norman is the only previous Aussie to receive the Jack Nicklaus trophy.
Norman was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year in 1995, a year in which he won three official tour events and was a top-three finisher at both the Masters and US Open.
Smith gave an indication of what was to come in 2022 with an enthralling win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.
Going toe-to-toe with world NO.1 Jon Rahm, Smith’s four-round total of 34-under was the lowest relative to par in PGA TOUR history, but he was just getting started.
He shot 66 in a rain-affected final round to become the fifth Australian to win THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass and in July shot the lowest final round ever at an Open Championship at St Andrews.
Four behind McIlroy at the start of the final round, Smith claimed the Claret Jug with a round of eight-under 64, his 20-under total for 72 holes bettering the mark set at St Andrews by Tiger Woods in 2000 and equalling the all-time scoring record set by Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon in 2016.
All told Smith played 18 PGA TOUR events in 2022 with seven top-10s and 15 made cuts, finishing second in Scoring Average (69.203) behind McIlroy (68.670). Tickets are now on sale to see Smith play the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship and the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.
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