Queenslander Cameron Smith has officially confirmed his title defence and will tee it up in the Australian PGA Championship from November 29 to December 2 at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.
It will cap a big domestic summer for Smith, who’ll first tee it up in the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club from November 15-18 before representing Australia at the World Cup of Golf at Metropolitan Golf Club from November 22-25.
Smith is looking forward to defending his first title on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia after a dream Australian PGA title win in 2017.
“It was always one of my goals to win one of the big Australian tournaments, now the next goal is to obviously defend it and win back-to-back Australian PGA Championship titles,” said Smith, who made no secret of his desire to play the full summer of golf in Australia after his win at RACV Royal Pines Resort last year.
“If my card on the [US] PGA Tour is secured, then I’m always really keen to come back and play in Australia but it’s pretty special to come back and defend a professional title on my own for the first time in my career. I would also love nothing more than to win my national Open and record a win for Team Australia, so hopefully I can finish the year on a high note.”
This year has been a standout for Smith, highlighted by a fifth-place finish at the Masters and four more top-10 results including consecutive third-place results in the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies FedEx Cup Playoff events. That led to a 12th place finish in the wealthy FedEx Cup rankings, making him the top performing Australian on the US Tour this year.
“I’ve had a great season so far, so I’m really looking forward to celebrating in Australia with family, friends and all the fans that have been great to me over the last 12 months.”
Since breaking through for his maiden title on the American tour and adding a home victory to his resume, Smith has played his way into the top echelons of Australian golf.
Gavin Kirkman, chief executive of the PGA of Australia which owns the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, said he, along with all golf fans, looks forward to welcoming Smith home.
“We’re delighted Cameron will be defending his Australian PGA Championship title and that he will be competing in three events on ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia schedule this summer,” Kirkman said. “Cameron represents the future of Australian golf and his popularity among Aussie fans will be on full display when crowds come out to watch him in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.”
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt echoed the enthusiasm.
“Cam has really turned heads in the US in the past couple of years and we’re delighted that he’s getting that recognition at home and that he’s taking his brilliant game to as many people as possible around Australia in November and December,” Pitt said.