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August 29, 2018

Cameron Smith

Boston, Massachusetts

MARK WILLIAMS: We'd like to welcome Cameron Smith from Australia, joining us at the Dell Technologies Championship in the interview room. Thank you, Cameron. You're coming in off a good finish last week at the Northern Trust, tied for third. It was your second top three of the season, and obviously a great performance at the Masters, as well, so you're in good shape, 16th in the FedExCup. Talk about coming to this tournament and TPC Boston and what you're looking forward to this week.

CAMERON SMITH: I love the golf course here, really suits my eye, actually got out this morning and played nine holes. The course is in great shape. And it's a great time of the year to be playing good.

MARK WILLIAMS: Saying that you love the golf course, do you take some inspiration from the fact that a number of Australians have performed particularly well, Scotty is one you, I think Geoff Ogilvy has had a runner-up and so has Jason Day. Do you think there is an affinity for Australians at this golf course?

CAMERON SMITH: I'd like to think so. Yeah, it's a kind of a little bit like home, the bunkering, the shape of the holes definitely reminds me of home a little bit. And like you said, that's probably why the Aussies play so well here.

Q. I'm going with the obvious, if you could explain what happened in terms of your form? It was so good early, dropped off and now it's back.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I had a little bit of a talk to my coach about that. I think that's just golf. I think that's just going to happen from time to time. But we just go back to what we do, spent a lot of time around the short game area last week and a lot of time around the green. And that just kind of took the weight off my shoulders with the long game, and that just kind of came in.

Everything just kind of falls into place now and then. I feel really good.

Q. You're obviously taking that confidence forward, you're on a pretty good spot on the FedExCup list, does it take some pressure off to keep that form going?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. I've got a few other things on my mind that I want to try to achieve at the end of the year. So yeah, just got to keep plugging away, and keep my form as well.

Q. How much does that potential World Cup spot for Australia drive you? You and Scotty, are all good mates and whatnot, potentially there. Is it a real determining factor and do you like the banter you have with Scotty going?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it's pretty good. We had a nice little conversation in the locker room after last week. He said he needed to keep me on my toes. Yeah, I'm looking forward to the challenge. Obviously he's a pretty good player, so not a person you particularly want to go up against. Looking forward to the challenge, for sure.

Q. I saw you on the practice range, you seemed focused. It's a look in your eyes that's very determined. As a competitor, how is it coming off of great golf last week? What's your mindset going into this week with a chance you'll crack the top-10 in the FedExCup?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I mean you're playing good golf. My swing feels really good at the moment. I feel like I can go out there and shoot a really low number. Even today I just had a quick little session before we went out and struck the ball really good. Like I said before, the course suits me really well. I love the way it looks. So I've just got to keep my form. The big thing for me I think is just going to be able to -- if I can get myself in the fairways I can really stay aggressive into the greens. And the rest will take care of itself.

Q. Generally scores here are pretty low. Knowing that you come in here trying to pick your spots where to be aggressive or is your mentality more go for it all the way around, how do you approach this both mentally and how do you do it on the golf course?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think this is one of those golf courses where it's definitely gettable. Not very long. A lot of gettable par-4s, obviously a drivable par-4. But it can also bite you in the bum, as well. There's some nasty spots around the greens. Stay aggressive when you can, but if you're hitting out of the rough and you just need to make par, I think the goal is just to make par, just get it somewhere around the green there, lazy chip and get away with a 4.

Q. You probably got asked this last week, but now that you're sort of this high up in the FedExCup rankings, how much of a pleasure is it going in the off-season, knowing that you are in the four majors and not having that anxiety you had at the start of this year, particularly at Augusta?
CAMERON SMITH: I think I've still got a little bit of work to go. But, yeah, it's been the goal all year to get into that top-30. Means you played a great year, you're playing great golf. And to play four majors, I think is really good, as well.

Q. Just want to talk about FedExCup positioning, where the pressure lies in these playoffs. I get the feeling if you're at the back you sort of play carefree, and go hard, go home. If you're in the front you've got a backstop, so there might be a little bit of complacency, but you're still pretty comfortable.
What's it like being in the middle like last week, where you sort of have to do something, but you don't have to do something, you know what I mean?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it was probably a great week last week for my coach to come in and he followed me up a little bit. And then the whole talk about the World Cup thing. I'd take representing Australia over anything. So that's going to fog me up a little bit.

And I just started to swing really good last week, with Grant, he came over and we tweaked a few things and everything fell into place. It was kind of one of those weeks last week, as soon as I was on the fairway, I knew I could be aggressive into the greens. And I was playing really well, also, so it was good.

Q. Now that you've virtually locked up -- you've got a little bit of work to do to get to Atlanta -- do those carrots, do they keep you focused and make sure you don't have a lull this week to keep the foot on the pedal?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, the drive at the moment is to make my way up the rankings and get on that team. As much as I'd love to be in Atlanta, the No. 1 goal for me at the moment is to try to make my way onto that team.

Q. Initially, did it surprise you all that it's this hot in Massachusetts, and generally how does that affect your preparation at all?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it's very surprising. Last year I think we were wearing sweaters here. So it's a little bit different. It was like a sauna out there this morning playing. There was no wind. It was crazy. It will affect my practice a little bit. Obviously I went out early this morning. I probably don't go out that early typically, just tried to get out of the heat. And I'm going to do a little bit of work after and get it all done.

Q. And then the other thing, I saw you out on the practice range, and I've been trying to ask this around, do you have any superstitions or are you superstitious at all?
CAMERON SMITH: The only superstition I have is I mark my ball with a ANZAC coin, because when my caddy is from New Zealand, that's the Army Corps thing. That's just kind of, I don't know, something that I do.

Q. Obviously this tournament is going to alternate after this year, it's kind of the last time it's under this format. You were here last year. How do you describe what the atmosphere was like? What the fans were like? What did you enjoy and how would you describe being here?
CAMERON SMITH: I remember the fans being pretty crazy last year. Is it Labor Day weekend this weekend? Yeah. So finish on the Monday. Everyone was out having a good time Saturday and Sunday. It's like a big weekend, I guess, be usually we don't get it on Sunday as much, because everyone has to go to work. It was a pretty cool vibe. Kind of like for it again.

MARK WILLIAMS: You talked about your immediate goals. A long term goal, perhaps, is the Presidents Cup in Australia, it's less than a year and a half a way. You kind of got your name in the mix when you won at Zurich, but there were no points there. But this is the first week that points can be accumulated for the International Team. How important is it for you to try and make that team and to obviously play at home in the Presidents Cup.

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I mean that's probably been one of my goals the past one or two Presidents Cup. I thought I was kind of on the line. Like you said, played well that season, just didn't get -- I needed a pick. We didn't get any World Ranking points for the win. But that's fine. It just drives me more to make this team. And obviously being at home it would be nice.

MARK WILLIAMS: We appreciate your time. Good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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