Cameron Smith Hoping To 'Tidy Up' Driving Ahead Of Open Championship Defence

The Aussie wants to work on his driving before the 151st Open despite winning LIV Golf London

Cameron Smith hits a drive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cameron Smith admits he must “tidy up" the driver despite returning to the winner’s circle ahead of his Open title defence.

The Aussie stunned Rory McIlroy at St Andrews last summer to lift the 150th Open with a superb final round 64.

He subsequently moved to the LIV Golf League, where he picked up his second title at the Centurion Club outside London at the weekend. Now, Smith intends to spend time in the capital before heading to Royal Liverpool on Saturday to prepare for next week’s final Major. 

And the World No.7, who carded a final round of 68 to finish 15-under-par, admits his game needs to sharpen up for the links.

Smith, who pocketed $4 million for the individual title, said: “I feel like I've done so much work on my driver this year and it's really been feeling good. 

“It wasn't its best weekend this weekend. I feel like I have to do some work on that. Even though it's a links course, generally you have to hit a lot of different shots off tees. 

“So if there's one thing, I think it would just be tidy up that driver, and I'll be set. It's the Open Championship, so you want to do your best. There's always that pressure. It's still got all the biggest names there.” 

Smith is among 16 players from LIV Golf due to tee it up at the Open and he admits his latest win is a welcome boost ahead of his first trip to Hoylake.

Smith, who tied for ninth at the PGA Championship and finished fourth at the US Open, added: “I think it's more of a confidence thing there. Just winning again I think is nice.

“I've been knocking on the door. It's nice to get one out of the way, and hopefully it opens the floodgates a little bit. There's nothing worse going into a big golf tournament and you're playing crappy golf.”

cameron smith

Cameron Smith defends the Claret Jug next week after triumphing at the 150th Open at St Andrews

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Smith’s victory was his second title since joining LIV last September after losing in a playoff to Dustin Johnson in May at the Tulsa event. He has never played Hoylake before and plans to travel up this weekend.

“I’ll have a bit of a longer prep than usual," he said. “I’ll put the clubs down for three or four days, just hang out in London, see all the sights, and just have a good time, relax.”

But the former World No.2 knows he has plenty to practise after enjoying his winter following five wins in 2022 year, including the Open.

Smith opened at Centurion with an impressive eight-under-par 63 before a 67 on Saturday in which he lamented: “I’d like to hit the ball on the clubface for once.”


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James Nursey

James Nursey is a freelance contributor to Golf Monthly after spending over 20 years as a sports reporter in newspapers. During a 17-year career with the Daily Mirror, he covered mainly football but reported from The Open annually and also covered a Ryder Cup and three US Opens. He counts a pre-tournament exclusive with Justin Rose at Merion in 2013 as one of his most memorable as the Englishman went on to win his first Major and later repeated much of the interview in his winner’s speech.  Now, after choosing to leave full-time work in newspapers, James, who is a keen single-figure player, is writing about golf more.  His favourite track is the Old Course after attending St Andrews University but has since played mainly at Edgbaston, where he is a member. James’ golfing highlights include a hole-in-one and previously winning the club championship and scratch knock-out at Edgbaston. He is also an active member of the Association of Golf Writers and Press Golfing Society, for whom he has represented in matches. But he is just as happy hitting balls or playing the odd hole with his young daughter at their local club Shrewsbury.

James is currently playing: 
Driver: Ping G400
3 wood: Ping i20
Hybrid: Ping i20
Irons: Ping i500 4-SW
Wedges: Ping Glide forged 50, 56
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour
Ball: Titleist ProVIx