Cam determined for another Olympic berth

The pair wore Australian colours at the Tokyo Games two years ago, Smith flirting with the podium before finishing four shots off the pace in a tie for 10th.

It’s likely only the top two-ranked Australian men will feature again in Paris next year.

Smith has faded from World No.2 to No.18 after two seasons with LIV Golf, the breakaway three-day tournament series that has repeatedly had its attempts to earn official world rankings points knocked back.

He’s still the country’s top-ranked male but the pack is closing fast.

The rejuvenated Jason Day (No.21) is next while Cameron Davis, Min Woo Lee, Adam Scott and Lucas Herbert are all inside the top-70 and consistently in the mix on the DP and PGA Tours.

Only players inside the world’s top-60 will be eligible for qualification, with some forecasters predicting Smith to dip below that mark before the Olympic team is selected.

That’s made defending his Australian PGA Championship at Brisbane’s Royal Queensland from Thursday, where rankings points will be earned, more important.

Unwelcome on the PGA Tour, Smith can also give his ranking a boost at the Australian Open at The Australian and The Lakes clubs in Sydney next week, while he’ll play all four majors next year before July’s Games.

“Yeah, I definitely want to be there, 100 percent,” the three-time Australian PGA champion and major winner said on Tuesday.

Smith and Marc Leishman (pictured) launched their Australian PGA Championship campaigns by having a lawn mowing contest at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. PHOTO: Getty Images.

“I know the criteria, don’t know if that can change.

“I’ve got these couple of events and four more looks again in the majors, so hopefully I can keep that ranking up.

“To wear the coat of arms on the chest again would be pretty special.”

Smith said he’d even alter his schedule to chase ranking points on the Asian Tour, where he claimed second at the Hong Kong open earlier this month.

Leishman, without exemptions to play the four majors, has dropped outside the world’s top-400 since his move to LIV.

“(Tokyo was) one of the best weeks of my life … (but) I don’t think I’ll be in it,” he said of Paris.

“Hopefully they can do something so Cam can play … hopefully it doesn’t come off that world rankings.

“I think Cam’s pretty clearcut the best Australian men’s golfer at the moment and deserves to play at the Olympics.

“He’s got a massive following all around the world now … feeling like a bit of a rockstar but still a humble winner and gracious loser.”

Both keen lawn enthusiasts who boast pristine yards at their American homes, Smith and Leishman enjoyed the chance to mow the Suncorp Stadium turf in a friendly competition won by Smith two days out from the Australian PGA first round.

Smith, Leishman, Scott, Davis, Lee and Herbert headline the local contingent this week while Poland’s 2022 Australian Open champion Adrian Meronk has also returned to the course pegged as the Brisbane 2032 Olympic golf venue.


18 – Cameron Smith

21 – Jason Day

44 – Cameron Davis

45 – Min Woo Lee

47 – Adam Scott

69 – Lucas Herbert

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