Cameron Smith has thought about it. Australian golf fans have thought about it. Now that he’s world No.6 and the top-ranked Australian at the Masters, you can’t not think about it.
Imagine Smith putting on Augusta National’s green jacket with his mullet flowing beautifully over the collar?
“Yeah I have thought about it,” Smith told Australian Golf Digest through laughter on Tuesday at a rainy Augusta National.
“It does make me laugh a little. I want to keep the mullet until the green jacket goes on,” Smith added, moments after a practice round on Augusta’s back nine with countrymen Marc Leishman and Cam Davis.
Pressed whether he will keep the mullet until he wins a Masters – this week or in future – the Queenslander stopped short of committing.
“I don’t know,” Smith laughed. “That’s a big call but who knows.”
Smith is coming off a $A5 million win at the elite Players Championship and is now aiming to join Tiger Woods as the only golfer to win the Players and the Masters in the same year. Woods pulled it off in 2001, when his Masters win capped the Tiger Slam of four Major wins in a row. “I mean, it’s a pretty good name to have yours up against, isn’t it?” Smith told reporters on Tuesday.
Smith certainly has the results at Augusta for Australian fans to realistically dream of that happening.
The 28-year-old has finished second, fifth and 10th in three of his last four Masters. His putting may rank third on the PGA Tour, but there’s no other player you’d rather put for your life at the moment.
Smith is also the only player in Masters history to shoot four rounds in the 60s, which he did when he finished joint runner-up to Dustin Johnson at the 2020 Masters in November.
“My game feels really good and the course is probably the best I’ve seen it,” Smith said of Augusta, which has added length to holes 11, 15 and 18. No.11 and No.15 also had their fairways re-contoured while trees were removed from the right side of No.11.
“It was nice to have a few weeks off after winning the Players because it probably took me a good five or six days to recover from that week. But then I got a good amount of practice in the past couple of weeks, I got back into the gym. The body and swing feel good.
“Augusta just allows me to be creative. It reminds me a lot of the Melbourne Sandbelt courses; you have to be smart around here. And it it allows me to bring out my short game; as a kid I just loved to get around the greens for some reason. I loved to see the ball spin and you feel like a big kid around Augusta for that reason. Some of the shots you hit are pretty crazy and there is nowhere else quite like it.”
Smith is a five-time PGA Tour winner, and two-time Australian PGA champion, who has progressed from winning teams events (2017, 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans) to open events like the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii, then to winners-only tournaments like the Tournament of Champions on Maui this year before stepping up at TPC Sawgrass, considered golf’s unofficial Major.
The next logical step is to win a Major and many are predicting Smith can get it done at Augusta National this week. He’d become more popular than he already is in his homeland if he was able to join Adam Scott as Masters champions.
But that’s at the back of his mind, next to the idea of his mullet hanging over a green jacket.
“All that stuff is added noise; (it’s nice but) I don’t need to think about,” he said. “I’m here to play my best golf and although I want to do it for Australia, at the same time I want to do it for myself and my team. I really can’t wait for Thursday,” he said.
Still, we dare to dream.
AUSSIE/TIGER WOODS TEE TIMES ROUND ONE (TIMES IN AEST)
Min Woo Woo Lee, Hudson Swafford, Cameron Young: 10.55pm (Thursday)
Cam Smith, Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey: 12.23am (Friday)
Adam Scott, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau: 12.56am
Cam Davis, Bernhard Langer, Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 1.40am
Lucas Herbert, Patrick Reed, Seamus Power: 2.24am
Marc Leishman, Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im: 2.57am
Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Joaquin Niemann: 12.34am