Smith failed to catch leader Scottie Scheffler throughout the pair’s final round on Sunday, with the Australian eventually finishing in a tie for third. Even so, Smith is teeing it up in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town this week as he attempts to bounce back quickly from the disappointment. Speaking ahead of the tournament, he said:
"It was a really good week, another really solid week. I felt really comfortable last week and it was nice to kind of be in contention on Sunday. To not quite get it done was perhaps a little bit frustrating, but Scottie played some pretty good golf there towards the end, so hats off to him."
Reflecting on what went wrong in the final round, Smith explained that he wasn’t too far away from pushing Scheffler much closer. He said: "I don't think I was down in the dumps. I was just frustrated. I feel as though I was one really good swing away from really contending and that's just how golf is, especially around that golf course. I feel as though sometimes you can even hit really good golf shots and end up making bogeys and doubles around there. So, yeah, just a little bit frustrated.”
After the first two holes in the final round, it looked like Smith would push Scheffler all the way, with two birdies closing the gap to one shot. However, despite staying more-or-less in touch with the leader over the next nine holes, he lost ground with a triple-bogey on the 12th, and the gap proved too much to bridge.
Nevertheless, Smith is still happy with his overall game, and seems keen to put last week’s events behind him. He said: "My game's in a good spot, I'm happy with how I handled the situation after and yeah, I'm just really looking forward to competing again this week. That's kind of in the rear-view mirror now."
Smith is enjoying almost as strong a year as the new Masters champion. He won January’s Sentry Tour of Champions and the Players Championship two months later. In between those successes, he finished fourth in February’s PIF Saudi International. Those wins saw him break into the world’s top 10 for the first time, and he’s currently a career-high World No.5. He'll hope to continue that fine form with his first RBC Heritage win.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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