Smith to go fishing after PGA Tour pay day

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Cameron Smith's long game has cost him a few dollars and titles in recent weeks and did so again at the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta, although he did still manage to bank a sizeable cheque before he goes fishing.

Smith started the elite 30-man event in Georgia five shots behind leader Patrick Cantlay under the "starting strokes format" in use to decide the season-long FedExCup - with three others also ahead of the Australian ace.

While he played himself out of contention with a 73 on moving day, Smith did manage to come back strongly on his back nine in the final round with three birdies in a 1-under 69 to get to 7 under and a share of 14th.

While 14 shots adrift of Cantlay - who scooped the $A20 million FedExCup winner's prize - Smith did net a pay day in the region of $A780,000.

That took his season earnings beyond the $A8.6m mark - in a campaign that could have been so much better.

He would have topped $10m in prize money for this season - which includes a win and two runner-up finishes - had he been able to maintain his starting place of fifth at East Lake Golf Club.

"It's been pretty good. Been really good of late, just a bit of a shame this week," Smith said.

"I just didn't hit my driver good enough. You need to hit the fairways around here to make a score."

After winning the PGA Tour's two-man team event in New Orleans with good mate Marc Leishman in April, Smith contended for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, led the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational with a hole to play and was in a playoff at the Northern Trust Open just a fortnight ago.

On each occasion a poor drive, one bad swing, dashed his hopes, something Smith said he needs to iron out.

"Just a few technical things, especially with the longer stuff," he said.

"My short game, especially my scoring irons are still unreal. Just the longer stuff that I really need to get better at."

But for now, Smith is poised to take a well-earned break.

"I've got five weeks off and my old man has come over from Australia, so lots of fishing and lots of sitting down and a few beers in there as well," he said.

"I'm going to play three or four in the fall, a couple in Vegas for sure and thinking about Houston and RSM. Pretty mellow."

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