Cameron Smith is staying optimistic over his possibilities of defending his Open Championship title after emotionally returning the Claret Jug
- Cameron Smith has returned the Claret Jug in what was an emotional farewell
- The Australian is although staying optimistic on his possibilities of successful once more
- Smith additionally admitted that he would ‘like to see Greg Norman stored on’ at LIV Golf
Such optimism isn’t misplaced. For all of the consternation round his defection to LIV within the wake of successful the Open final summer time, the Australian has retained his form on the rebel circuit and has arrived at Hoylake outstanding among the many favourites.
That a lot was underlined by his victory at Centurion a fortnight ago, and with LIV having already equipped one main champion this season, through Brooks Koepka’s win on the US PGA Championship, Smith, 29, is nicely positioned to make another statement this week.
‘I simply had to hand back the trophy there,’ he mentioned upon taking his seat to handle the media because the reigning champion. ‘I assumed I used to be going to do all proper, however I used to be really holding again tears. It was a little bit of a second that crept up on me.
‘I’ve been saying to all my mates that it’ll solely be per week and we’ll be consuming out of it once more. ‘Hopefully it’s one other week like final yr and I’m again with the trophy.’
Cameron Smith (left) has returned the Claret Jug forward of the Open Championship subsequent weekend
It was an emotional second for the defending champion, who received his first main title at St Andrews final yr
Smith (pictured) joined LIV Golf quickly after he received the championship, and has admitted that he would ‘love Greg Norman to be stored on’ amid hypothesis over the Australian’s future
In fact, it was Smith who was liable for two of probably the most startling moments in golf in 2022, first for the final-round 64 that broke Rory McIlroy’s coronary heart at St Andrews, after which his determination to depart the PGA Tour within the aftermath.
The latter sparked the query of whether or not a golfer might stay aggressive inside the LIV ecosystem of fewer and 54-hole tournaments, however that has been disproven by every of the key leaderboards this season.
Certainly, it’s Smith’s view that he’ll begin this Championship as a greater participant than the one who received the final, having added higher play off the tee to a placing recreation that’s arguably the best in golf.
Smith (proper) is aiming to grow to be the second LIV participant to win a significant, with Brooks Koepka (left) reaching the feat earlier this yr on the PGA Championship
Smith is in place to assault the course this weekend, having completed fourth on the US Open and ninth on the PGA Championship
‘My 5 iron and up has all the time been a little bit of a wrestle for me, and that’s an space of the sport that we’ve labored tougher on than up to now,’ mentioned Smith. ‘I really feel prefer it’s proper there. It feels actually shut.’
At a time of immense uncertainty in golf, which owes as much to the thin details of the merger between feuding tours because it does the chaos that preceded it, the way forward for LIV commissioner Greg Norman is in appreciable doubt.
Smith has backed his fellow Australian to remain in his put up, saying: ‘I’ve sort of grow to be a little bit of a buddy of Greg’s within the final eight or 9 months. He’s doing a terrific job for our tour. I’d like to see him stored on.’