Cameron Smith fires back over 'bulls***' claims ahead of the Masters

The Aussie wasn't buying into the criticism ahead of his Masters return.

·4-min read
Aussie golfer Cameron Smith during an interview and Phil Michelson speaks at a press conference.
Aussie golfer Cameron Smith (pictured left) has slapped down the notion LIV golfers will struggle in their return to the Masters next weekend. (Getty Images)

Aussie golfer Cameron Smith has slapped down any idea LIV golfers will struggle in their return to the Masters for the first time since the breakaway group formed last year. Smith is one of 18 LIV Golf stars to return to Augusta next week for the first time since joining the breakaway golf franchise.

Plenty has been made of the LIV Golf players returning since they were banned from the PGA Tour with Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka the latest to blast the notion of any tension between the playing group. Smith also shut down any concerns last week when asked about what reception he could expect upon his return.

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Smith will be one of 18 LIV golfers, including stars such as Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson - returning in an attempt to win one of the sport's top titles. And there has been plenty of speculation on how the elite players will perform since their exit from the PGA Tour.

Just this week, CBS and golf reporter Kyle Porter questioned the form of players such Johnson heading into Augusta. "One thing I've been thinking about as it relates to the Masters is how sharp players like Dustin Johnson are going to be at the biggest event of the year," he wrote.

"DJ has played just 22 rounds since The Open last year and has one top 10 worldwide since last Sept. Will that matter?" However, he went on to claim players such as Johnson and Smith could 'shoot 68s anywhere on the planet' on any given day. Earlier in the month, former US tour pro turned analyst Brandel Chamblee pointed out a similar question mark on LIV Golf.

While Watson and Koepka reiterated their individual desire to outperform everyone - not just PGA Tour players - next weekend, Smith has blasted the idea that LIV stars will be at a disadvantage due to their switch.

"There's a lot of chatter going around about 'these guys don't play real golf anymore'. And I think it's B.S. to be honest," Smith said after his pro-am round at LIV Golf International Orlando in Florida. "And we just want to show people that."

Cameron Smith acknowledges the crowd after a put.
Adam Scott feels Cameron Smith (pictured) is in his prime and will be ready to compete at the Masters. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Smith also hoped someone from the LIV Golf contingent gets a win in one of the majors to silence the doubters over the switch, which has sent shockwaves through the sport. "Obviously first and foremost for me, I'm trying to go there and play the best golf I can," Smith said.

"It's important for us to go there, really show a high standard of golf which we know we're all capable of. "Most of us will get four cracks at (the majors) this year and hopefully we get maybe a win out of it. Maybe we just show a really hearty effort."

Adam Scott defends Cameron Smith ahead of the Masters

Smith has signalled in intention to compete next week for another major and fellow countryman Adam Scott believes the Queenslander could very well win the tournament. Scott put it down to Smith's confidence leading into the tournament.

"He's in the prime of his career at the moment, as far as we can tell," Scott said ahead of his own 22nd Masters tilt 10 years after he became the first Australian to win the famous green jacket.

"His confidence has to be high, he's the reigning Open champion and coming off the year he had last year, even with if you want to call it limited preparation, it takes a lot more than that for the confidence to fade.

"So if he gets any kind of good feeling going next week, absolutely (he can win). And he's played great there the last few years."

Adam Scott and Cameron Smith examine the green at the Australian Open.
Adam Scott (pictured left) believes his fellow countryman Cameron Smith (pictured right) is in for a real shot of winning the Masters. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Chamblee was adamant that players such as Smith and Johnson will be coming into Augusta underprepared than usual. "You cannot convince me that week in and week out playing against the very best players in the very best competitions doesn't make you sharper," Chamblee said.

"Think where they are going to be a week before the Masters, typically the best players in the world in the week before the Masters go in, get a sense of how the golf course is playing and then maybe go home and practise on like conditions with like grasses.

"(The LIV players are) going to be in Orlando at Crooked Cat, putting on grainy Bermuda (grass). It's no way to prepare for a major championship."

with AAP

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