The Masters 2022: No worries mate - Cameron Smith keeping it cool for Augusta bid

Plenty of eyes are on Smith this week after his surge up the world rankings and win at Sawgrass but it’s all water off a duck’s back to the Australian.

Cameron Smith has never gone into The Masters with this much attention.

He's one of golf's hottest players after a brilliant win at The Players Championship on his latest outing.

And that came just four starts on from his victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January.

With finishes of second (2020), fifth (2018) and 10th (2021) in three of the last four Masters, he has the course form too.

Tiger Woods' return may be the big story but Smith's bid for a first Major is getting plenty of column inches too.

But does the World No. 6 feel extra pressure this time, now that he's one of the favourites to take victory?

No way, mate!

The Aussie couldn't sound more relaxed - as this pre-tournament interview proved.

On what he did after winning The Players Championship

"It was nice to have a few weeks off after that. Probably took me a good five or six days to recover from that week fully, I think.

"Spent a lot of time on the lounger and just doing nothing, you know. Yeah, so it was good. Got a good bit of practice the last couple weeks, back in the gym, body feels good. Yeah, can't wait."

On feeling extra pressure to give Australia another win

"No, not really. I've always kind of just gone about my business, just left all that stuff as added noise I don't need to think about.

"I'm out there to play my best golf and I want to do it for Australia, but at the same time, one shot at a time, just trying to hit good shots."

On trying to join Tiger as the only golfer to win the Players and Masters in the same season

"Yeah, I mean, it's a pretty good name to have yours up against, isn't it, really. So I'm really looking forward to it. Course is magnificent. It's as good as I've seen it. I really can't wait for Thursday. Yeah.

On whether trying to join Tiger in the history books adds pressure

"No, not particularly, mate. I've never been a real big golf nerd, to be honest. I love golf and I love being creative and stuff like that, but I've never really been one to get into the history of it.

"For sure I know all the guys. But, yeah, I'm not up-to-date on all the stats and records and stuff."

On his preparation

"Yeah, it's been good. Came up yesterday morning. Drove up from Jacksonville, about a four hour drive, did some practice in the afternoon and I went and saw the front nine, so it was pretty long day yesterday.

But feels good.

Cam Smith

On why Augusta National suits him

"I think it just allows me to be creative. Reminds me a lot of home, the sandbelt courses (in Melbourne), kind of firm and fast.

"You know, you have to be smart around here, too."

On relishing the short-game skills needed for Augusta

"As a kid I just loved to get around the greens for some reason. I loved to see the ball spin, stuff like that.

"You just feel like a big kid around here. Some of the shots you hit is pretty crazy and, yeah, there is nowhere else quite like it."

On how much time he spends on his hair

"Not that long. Dry with the towel and that's it. It's done.

"I go to the barber probably once a month and he sorts it out, and then it gets ruined and he goes and fixes it up again."

Cameron Smith's Masters stats

2021 - T10 (DD 31, DA 29, GIR 5, Scr 21, PA 44, PPR 33)

2020 - T2 (DD 24, DA 47, GIR 41, Scr 3, PA 4, PPR 2)

2019 - T51 (DD 35, DA 63, GIR 62, Scr 32, PA 27, PPR 9)

2018 - T5 (DD 16, DA 44, GIR 15, Scr 8, PA 14, PPR 13)

2016 - T55 (DD 33, DA 49, GIR 49, Scr 33, PA 29, PPR 43)

Key: DD = Driving Distance, DA = Driving Accuracy, GIR = Greens In Regulation, Scr = Scrambling, PA = Putting Average, PPR = Putts Per Round

READ MORE: The Masters 2022: How does Tiger Woods fare when returning from a lengthy injury break?

Latest news