PGA Championship: Cameron Smith one of six Australians in the field

Hitting the PGA Championship in Louisville fresh off back-to-back team wins, and having done the necessary celebrating, has given Cameron Smith the burst of energy he needs to tackle the Valhalla layout, with rain set to hamper the opening rounds of the year’s second major.

Smith made it clear that rest, and lots of it, was on his agenda after securing a momentous win with his all-Aussie Ripper GC team at the LIV event in Adelaide that the quartet followed up with another win in Hong Kong.

It was a lengthy stint away from his Florida base but one during which Smith, who is chasing crucial world ranking points at the PGA Championship to keep his Olympic dream alive, flourished.

He finished second in Singapore and after arriving in Kentucky was adamant his game was on the upwards trajectory he had hoped for after a slowish personal start to 2024.

“Everything feels good. Game feels great. Feel like it’s just been improving this whole year basically and I’m pumped and ready for this week,” he said.

The Queenslander was less pumped about the weather that limited his Tuesday practice and is set to play a role in at least the early stages of the tournament, with thunderstorms even predicted for Saturday, demanding a bit more “study” off course.

“It’s probably going to be a long week, if you look at the forecast this week. I think it’s going to be a few early mornings, so probably keeping it a little bit lighter at the start of the week. Reserving some energy I think will be good,” he said.

“But also just knowing the course. I haven’t been around here yet, so there’ll be a ton of study to over go on the next couple of days and then just a ton of rest as well.

“The rough doesn’t seem that long but it’s just really dense, so it’s quite patchy, so it’s hard to say whether it’s a good or a bad thing. It’ll just be a long week.”

Smith is one of a massive 16 LIV players in the event after special invitations were offered to eight players, including his Ripper GC teammate Lucas Herbert.

The pair are among the six Australians vying for the $4.7m winner’s cheque, joining 2015 champ Jason Day, Min Woo Lee, Adam Scott and Cam Davis in the field.

Smith is ranked 61st, fourth among Australians, with Day (19), Lee (36) and Scott (56) all ahead of him. Both Day and Lee have confirmed their intent to go to the Paris Olympics should they qualify.

The two top-two ranked Australians after the US Open in June will represent Australia.

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