Cameron Smith Makes Birdie After Striking Fairway Wood From Cart Path

The Australian opted to take on a shot from a cart path in the latest LIV event, en-route to a bold birdie at the par 5 15th

Cameron Smith hits a golf ball from the cart path
(Image credit: Twitter: @livgolf_league)

Cameron Smith has long been known as a fine putter with the short stick, as he famously illustrated during his Major triumph at the 150th Open. But the Australian also appears to be developing a reputation for special shots from the cart path too. 

Not for the first time in his pro career, Smith opted to play off a cart path in the latest LIV Golf event after missing the fairway on the left off the tee at the par 5 15th. What's more, his impressive three wood off the tarmac didn’t even generate a single spark as Smith cleanly connected with the back of the ball en-route to a birdie in a five-under 66.

After topping the leaderboard on day one, Smith, who is the captain of Ripper GC, explained: “I didn't really have another option. The rough is pretty gnarly out here. The cart path I think is a better option than the rough. I try not to do it too often, but managed to hit a pretty good shot which probably actually didn't go as far as I thought it was going to.”

Smith’s birdie on the 15th was one of six as he targets his second win in the league this year after finishing top in London. His opening round marked a return to form after coming a frustrating 35th in Greenbrier, his worst result of the LIV season.

Currently, Smith remains second in the individual standings with three tournaments left as he bids to overhaul leader, Talor Gooch, who is 15 points above him. And Smith admits he has his eyes on the first place - and its $18million prize money - with Gooch tied 15th in Bedminster after the first round, shooting an even par 71.

When quizzed about the race for the top of the individual standings, Smith added: “I don't go to bed thinking about it, but I know. That was part of the reason for the work, the extra work this week. It's to be the best at the end of the season. That's what you want to be. Sure, you want to win tournaments, but I think proving it over 13 tournaments is much better than one.”

It isn't the first spectacular shot off a cart path Smith has hit after also spinning in a close approach shot in the first LIV Golf event of 2023 at Mayakoba, from off the concrete.

Elsewhere, Bryson DeChambeau, who carded an historic 12-under 58 to claim victory at the last LIV Golf event a week ago, struggled with his first 18 holes. DeChambeau carded a 2-over par 73 with a round that included five bogeys and three birdies.

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