NOT long after a 12-year-old Cameron Smith started coming to me for lessons, it was evident winning a US PGA Tour event was where he was headed.

But for it to happen at the age of 23 is amazing. To do it under the pressure of a sudden-death playoff and going for a first title on tour is a testament to his world-class golf game and mental strength.

It’s amazing to think I’ve coached a US PGA Tour winner, but it’s more satisfying just to see Cam achieve a lifelong goal. If he wants to take his game to the level of a top-10 player in the world and a Major championship winner, he certainly can. It just depends on whether he wants to put in the hard work required – because he’s got all the tools to do it.

’From a very young age, Cam has had this innate ability to
step up his game as the situation gets more difficult’

To step up to that level, Cam only needs to continue getting better at what he’s already doing. He’s already demonstrated that he can mix it with the world’s best. I don’t think a lot needs to change; he just needs more time getting comfortable with being in contention.

It was only November last year that he finished runner-up to Jordan Spieth in a playoff at the Australian Open, and a year before that he finished fourth at the US Open – his Major debut. And now with his win in New Orleans, he keeps tracking in the right direction.

From a very young age, Cam has had this innate ability to step up his game as the course, conditions or the situation gets more difficult.

I remember caddieing for him at the 2011 Australian Amateur strokeplay title when he birdied the last two and the first playoff hole to lift the trophy. When he won the 2013 Australian Amateur Championship, he came from a mile behind.

I also carried the bag for his debut on the US PGA Tour at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in 2014, when he finished in a tie for fifth. We set a goal three months prior to at least make the top-10 in Kuala Lumpur to get enough FedEx Cup points to get temporary status on tour.

For him to execute that plan, it’s something you can’t teach – it’s a mental gift and he’s certainly got it.

Grant Field is the coach of US PGA Tour winner Cameron Smith. He is also the director and head of coaching at the Australian Golf Performance Centre at Pelican Waters Golf Club in Queensland.