07 Apr 2022

Editor’s Letter: Cameron Smith to reign supreme at the Masters

With such an array of superstars currently competing at the highest level, picking a winner for an event like The Masters is a tough task. On any given day, anyone inside the top 50 is capable of stepping up and getting the job done – whatever the event.

Having said that, I’ve been saying for months to the guys in the office that Cameron Smith will win the first Major of the season and after his brilliant performance at TPC Sawgrass to win The Players Championship last month, I believe I’m onto a winner!

That win was made even sweeter with the cool $3.6 million he banked – the largest payout on the PGA Tour – but the cherry on top was having his mother and sister amongst the fans watching in Florida, whom he hadn’t seen in two-and-a-half years.

Sometimes you forget these players are human too. Yes, they are travelling across the world and earning money most of us can only dream of while playing the sport we all love, but how easy is it to put all your focus on winning a tournament when you haven’t spent time with your nearest and dearest in such a long time?  Many golfers have spoken about their mental health, the struggles they’ve had in dealing with the pandemic and the difficulties it has posed on their careers. So hats off to Cameron, who has probably had it worse than most with his family essentially locked in Australia.

I, like many others, was touched by his triumph in front of his family and it came as no shock to see the Australian pull out of the WGC Match Play and Valspar Championship to spend more time with his loved ones while they were out in the States. Family always comes first.

Smith will make a welcome return to the course at Augusta National with his iconic mullet and laid-back approach. Could he be the coolest guy on Tour? Erik Van Rooyen would probably give him a run for his money with his old school tache or Robert Rock and his luscious locks but for me Smith holds that title.

Anyway, enough about that gorgeous mullet – Smith has a pretty impressive record at the Masters, having made the cut in all five of his appearances, including two top 10s and a runner-up finish in 2020. That year, he also made Masters history, becoming the first player to shoot in the 60s in all four rounds. In all but seven previous Masters his 15 under par total would have won. Imagine that! You’ve just made history and you still don’t get to slip into the iconic Green Jacket.

This month he gets the job done. Yes, there will be challenges from the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm, but something tells me we’ll have a mulleted Australian at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday evening in Georgia.

Thomas Wragg

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