Slick Smith eyes Aussie ti­tles

NT News - - SPORT -

CAMERON Smith is ea­ger to carry his hot form from Kuala Lumpur into a bold bid to land the Aus­tralian Open or the Aus­tralian PGA this sum­mer.

The im­pres­sive Queens­lan­der is zeal­ous about win­ning one of the big events in his home coun­try af­ter break­ing through for his maiden vic­tory at the Zurich Clas­sic in New Or­leans in May.

Smith has con­firmed his en­try for the Open at The Aus­tralian (Novem­ber 23-26) and the stop at RACV Royal Pines for the PGA (Novem­ber 30De­cem­ber 3) on the Gold Coast. As a bonus, he has helped hook an ex­tra head­lin- er in Swede Jonas Blixt, his part­ner in the team-for­mat vic­tory in New Or­leans.

It will be the first time that Blixt, a three-time PGA Tour win­ner, has played in the two big Aus­tralian events al­though he did play at Royal Mel­bourne in the 2013 World Cup of Golf.

“Grow­ing up in Aus­tralia, it’s a big am­bi­tion and al­ways will be to win a home Open or the PGA in Queens­land,” Smith said. “Jonas (Blixt) and I prac­tice to­gether at times in Florida and it’s great that he’s com­ing too.”

Smith has hit the new sea­son in rous­ing form, fir­ing eight birdies on Thurs­day in Kuala Lumpur to lead af­ter the open­ing round of the CIMB Clas­sic on the PGA Tour’s swing through Asia.

Smith was pipped in a three-way play­off by Amer­i­can Jordan Spi­eth in his clos­est chal­lenge for the Aus­tralian Open at Royal Syd­ney last year. “I’m sure there are a lot of Aussie fans who’d love to see him go one bet­ter at The Aus­tralian,” Golf Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephen Pitt said.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Brett Co­letta is a con­firmed starter for the Isuzu Queens­land Open at Bris­bane Golf Club from Oc­to­ber 26.

Pic­ture: GETTY IMAGES

Cameron Smith watches his shot at the CIMB Clas­sic at TPC Kuala Lumpur

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