Cameron Smith's rally at Augusta National halted by untimely double bogey at No. 15
Cameron Smith had his streak of rounds in the 60s at Augusta National snapped in Thursday’s first round with an opening 74.
He started another on Friday but his 68 admittedly left him steaming because it had so much more potential until a double-bogey at No. 15.
“Quite frustrated, actually,” said the native of Brisbane, Australia, who now resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “I played some really good golf, and yeah, just to finish like that was quite disappointing. I felt like I had a lot going for me. I hit a lot of good shots coming in and just didn’t really get anything out of it.”
Smith became notable in the November 2020 Masters when he became the first player in history to record all four rounds in the 60s. He still finished five back of Dustin Johnson.
He made it five out of six rounds on Friday, starting with a run of three birdies in a row at Nos. 2, 3 and 4. His birdie at No. 2 was more or less routine – a pitch to within tap-in range.
The next two were on putts of 16 and 21 feet as he got his score under par for the first time all week.
Smith followed that with another tap-in birdie at No. 8, and he then nearly holed two approach shots in a row, knocking his tee shot at No. 12 and his second shot at No. 13 to within 18 inches.
The birdie-eagle swing dropped his score to 5 under, two shots off Justin Rose’s lead.
However, Smith’s second shot from the second cut at No. 14 didn’t get far enough and fall off the front slope, and he eventually missed a 14-foot par putt. He then found the water with his third shot at the par-5 15th hole, with the ball failing to reach the green and falling back off the front bank.
“[No.] 14 hurt,” he said. “I didn’t really hit a bad shot there, I was just probably half a club out. We thought we were going to get a little flier out of the rough there, and just didn’t jump and come up short, and that’s probably not the best spot to leave yourself there. Yeah, learned something there.
“And then 15 was 15,” he continued. “I mean, it was just rubbish, to be honest.”
Smith steered himself home on the final three holes to finish at 2-under 142, five shots off the pace.
He tried to stay positive.
“I love the way the course is playing,” he said. “I can play well here, I know it. I’ve done it before. That’s probably what I’m going to take from it.”