Cameron Smith: Masters frustration in rear-view mirror ahead of RBC Heritage

The 28-year-old finished in a tie for third at Augusta

Phil Casey
Wednesday 13 April 2022 16:40
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Cameron Smith finished third in the Masters after a costly blunder on the 12th in the final round (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
Cameron Smith finished third in the Masters after a costly blunder on the 12th in the final round (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Cameron Smith insists his Masters disappointment is already in his “rear-view mirror” as he bids for a third PGA Tour title of the season in the RBC Heritage.

Smith birdied the first two holes of Sunday’s final round to close the gap to Scottie Scheffler to a single stroke before a two-shot swing on the third, where Scheffler chipped in for birdie and Smith bogeyed from an identical spot short of the green.

After falling further behind with a bogey on the fourth, Smith birdied the 11th – the hardest hole at Augusta National all week – to get back to three behind, only to then dump his tee shot on the 12th into Rae’s Creek.

The 28-year-old, who won the Sentry Tournament of Champions and Players Championship earlier this year, fought back from the resulting triple bogey to finish in a tie for third, his third top-five finish in six Masters appearances.

“It was a really good week, another really solid week,” Smith told a pre-tournament press conference at Harbour Town Golf Links.

“I felt really comfortable last week and it was nice to kind of be in contention on Sunday. To not quite get it done was perhaps a little bit frustrating, but Scottie played some pretty good golf there towards the end, so hat’s off to him.

Cameron Smith jumps up to see the pin from a bunker on the fourth hole during the final round of the Masters (Matt Slocum/AP)

“I don’t think I was down in the dumps (on Sunday evening). I was just frustrated. I feel as though I was one really good swing away from really contending and that’s just how golf is, especially around that golf course.

“I feel as though sometimes you can even hit really good golf shots and end up making bogeys and doubles around there. So, yeah, just a little bit frustrated.

“My game’s in a good spot, I’m happy with how I guess handled the situation after and yeah, I’m just really looking forward to competing again this week. That’s kind of in the rear-view mirror now.”

Smith is not the only Masters contender to make the three-hour drive from Augusta to Hilton Head, with Shane Lowry, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Sungjae Im all in the field.

Lowry also recovered from a triple bogey in the final round – on the par-three fourth – to share third place with Smith, while Morikawa finished fifth after a closing 67 which included holing a bunker shot on the 18th, moments after playing partner Rory McIlroy had done so in his 64.

Stewart Cink, who made a hole-in-one on the 16th in the second round of the Masters, returns to defend the title he won by four shots last year.

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