Cameron Smith cops brutal blow as Jason Day takes over as Australia's top golfer

Australia has a new top golfer as Jason Day surpasses Cameron Smith in the world rankings.

Pictured left golfer Jason Day and right Cameron Smith
C ameron Smith has been overtaken by Jason Day as Australia's top-ranked male golfer. Image: Getty

Cameron Smith is no longer Australia's top-ranked male golfer after being overtaken by Jason Day in the latest world rankings. Smith has fallen to No.23 in the golf rankings, four spots behind fellow Aussie Day, who is ranked 19th. It is the lowest Smith has been since November 2021.

Smith performed below par in both the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Open, where he finished in a tie for 17th. He has only been allowed to play at the four majors as a result of being signed to LIV Golf, with his drop to No.23 in the rankings largely due to the division between LIV and the PGA Tour and his subsequent lack of PGA events where he can play for both prize money and ranking points.

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On the flip side, Day continues to climb up the rankings after finishing 11th in Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge at the weekend, with the result lifting him into the top 20. Day has surged up the rankings from No.159 in the world last August after dealing with a combination of injury and swing issues.

In the calendar year, the Aussie has registered eight top 10 finishes in the 24 events he has competed in, putting him in pole position for an Olympics spot for Australia, potentially at the detriment of fellow Aussie Smith. The top 15 players in the world all automatically qualify for the Olympics and there are a maximum of two spots per country in each gender for players ranked lower to fill the field of 120 players- 60 in the men's and 60 in the women's events.

Pictured golfer Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith concedes his Olympic aspirations could be in jeopardy as he continues to slide down the rankings. Image: Getty (Getty Images)

Cameron Smith's Olympic dream in jeopardy

Smith's slide could ultimately see him miss out on Paris 2024, as the likes of Min Woo Lee, ranked No.35, continues a fine run of form and pushes for one of the two Aussie men's Olympic spots. "I normally tend to play well when I need to make something or I need to do something to get in a tournament," Lee said of his Olympic bid. "That would be a true honour to play for Australia."

Smith also has fierce competition from both Cameron Davis and Aussie golf legend Adam Scott for a coveted Olympic spot. Yet Aussie Mark Leishman - who has slipped below the top 400 and is resigned to the fact he won't make Paris - said last week that Smith must be selected for the Olympic team.

"It's very hard for me, I don't think I'll be in it, but hopefully they can do something so Cam can play," Leishman said. "Hopefully it doesn't come off that world rankings because I think Cam is the pretty clear-cut best Australian golfer at the moment and deserves to be playing in the Olympics."

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