Golf-Easygoing Smith taking pressure in his stride in bid for maiden major – Metro US

Golf-Easygoing Smith taking pressure in his stride in bid for maiden major

PGA: PGA Championship – Practice Round
PGA: PGA Championship – Practice Round

TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) – Australian Cameron Smith said consistency will be his key at the PGA Championship in Tulsa this week as he renews his bid for a maiden major title at Southern Hills Country Club.

The 28-year-old secured the biggest win of his career earlier this year at the Players Championship but came up short at the Masters last month, when a triple-bogey at Golden Bell in the final round shattered his chances.

Five weeks on from that experience, he was raring to go again.

“I don’t like to turn up earlier and do some more prep. I like to think of every week the same. I do the same preparation,” said Smith, who also won at Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this year.

“Play 18, 27 holes, really figure out the firmness and the speed of the greens and then from there, just really work on some shots on the range that I may have picked up here and there.”

But that does not mean he’s taking the competition in Tulsa for granted.

Despite four top-10 finishes at Augusta, Smith has only once cracked the top 25 at the PGA Championship. He said he spent the last week working on his driver for what he expects to be windy conditions.

“The PGA is probably the one that I’ve struggled with the most. It’s typically set up, very demanding off the tee. I don’t think that’s really been my strong suit out here ever,” said the world number four.

“A lot of work the last week on the driver. Trying to get it straight rather than trying to get a little bit more distance out of it.”

A “refresh” for two weeks that included time with his trainer and psychologist at home served him well, as will the company of Norwegian Viktor Hovland in his pairing when the tournament kicks off on Thursday.

“I know Hovi quite well and we always have a laugh. Shay, his caddie, is an Aussie, as well,” he said. “Always good having a couple more Aussies in the group.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York, editing by Pritha Sarkar)