Cameron Smith has turned to a “heartbreaking” play-off loss after finalising his preparations for the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.
The Queenslander – who, together with Ash Hall, was defeated at his national Open by Jordan Spieth in 2016 – said that the memories of Royal Sydney were still fresh.
“The one at Royal Sydney was pretty heartbreaking … It’s been basically on my mind ever since,” said the reigning Australian PGA champion.
“I’ve been working pretty hard the past couple of weeks back in Jacksonville and I really want to get this one.
“My preparation leading up to the event the last couple of years probably hasn’t been the greatest – and it’s something that I’ve focused on for the last couple of weeks, thinking of lifting the trophy.”
Smith, the World No.33, will be the highest-ranked Australian in the field when the opening round gets underway tomorrow – and he is still adapting to the extra attention he has received from fans around the practice facilities.
But the 25-year-old, who finished fourth at last year’s Australian Open, said that it was “pretty cool” that so many young people wanted his photo or autograph.
“Not too long ago I was in their shoes and for them to be able to look up to me is really weird but it’s awesome,” Smith said.
“I’d do anything for the juniors of Queensland and Australia. To be in a position to give back is pretty cool.”
Meanwhile, two-time Aussie Open champ Greg Chalmers is preparing to try and emulate his 2011 victory – which came at The Lakes.
But the 45-year-old left-hander has ultimately urged punters to hold onto their money until next year.
“I’ve got two trophies at home that mean the world to me,” he said. “I am going to put heavy money on myself next year because I think I win every year before the Presidents Cup.
“Next year’s my year.”
Smith will begin the tournament at 7:05 tomorrow morning from the 10th tee, while Chalmers will follow in the group behind at 7:10am.