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January 12, 2020
THE MODERATOR: Like to welcome Cameron Smith into the interview room, our 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii champion. Cameron, what a day that was. Couple strokes down going into 17, and then you prevail.
Just talk a little bit what's going through your head and how you got it done today.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I guess just sticking in there. Didn't feel like I played particularly well, but just did the -- made the putts that I had to make, and you know, those up and downs to kind of keep the momentum going a little bit I managed to get up and down. It was a struggle all day, though. The conditions were wet and a little bit windy this morning.
So, yeah, it was a challenge for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Move to No. 5 in the FedEx Cup. Questions. Start with Doug.
Q. Did you imagine, Cam, standing on 17 tee that you would only have to two-putt from ten feet to win this thing in a playoff?
CAMERON SMITH: Not really. I thought I had to birdie 17, and then maybe do something really good an 18. 18 wasn't playing as easy today without the wind there.
Yeah, I mean, things just fell into place, and sometimes you just need a little bit of luck to kind of fool your way, and you never know what can happen.
Q. You were 4-over through the first two holes of this tournament, and I guess could have mentally checked out there, but I know you were playing for something bigger this week. Did that at all keep you in the moment right away?
CAMERON SMITH: I guess so. I mean, I just wanted to make birdies. It was tough the first three days to make birdies and I managed to scrape in a few. Every one of them, every birdie putt I had, just meant that little bit more. Rather than kind of wanting to make it I almost felt like I had to make it.
I guess I'll take that into the future. So yeah, it was good.
Q. Talk about the personal situation with your Uncle Warren, is it?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah.
Q. Obviously what he went through and how you brought him over, et cetera.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, my Uncle Warren is still at home.
Q. At your house, right?
CAMERON SMITH: Well, he was at my house probably only two or three days before we started the tournament. He was still there when I left. Yeah, bit of a tough time for my uncle. He went back down there on Monday or Tuesday. Bit of a long drive. What he found was quite devastating. Kind of saw the photos, and, yeah, the only thing he had left was a little shed that him and his son built a few months back.
Yeah, we're a tight knit family and kind of hit everyone pretty hard. It's good to do something good, and hopefully puts a smile on their face.
Q. I know you've been to Kapalua. Was there a part of you that didn't quite feel yet like a proper PGA TOUR winner until today?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I guess so. You know, it's always been in the back of my mind. Having someone else there playing for someone else, I've always done really well in events like that. But, yeah, to do it on my own, yeah, was obviously a big tick.
Q. When you were battling with Brendan all day, and especially get in the playoff, did the Presidents Cup experience come into play there?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think so. Like I was saying before, I think, yeah, just having to make the putts, feeling like something else is on the line, I think I drew a little bit from the Presidents Cup.
I mean, I felt as though I played some of my best golf that week, and with such little time between these events I think that's kind of rolled over definitely into this week. I just feel like I've got -- I'm not necessarily hitting it super duper, but getting the ball around and scoring really nicely.
Q. Do you think you'll get a call from the other Cameron Smith?
CAMERON SMITH: (Laughter.) Maybe. I would say he's like my hero at home. Yeah, so I hope so.
Q. Have you talked?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I met him two or three years ago at a camp. He came out and we threw the footie around. Yeah, definitely a day I'll never forget.
Q. He knew who you were and that kind of thing, bring up the name thing?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, not really. We were just having a little general chat. The media were there. They were filming us. He hit a few golf balls and we got to kick the footie around for a half hour, so it was really neat.
Q. Been much confusion for you growing up?
CAMERON SMITH: No. He lives down in Melbourne and I'm from up in Brisbane. Definitely none of that. And he's like 20 years older than me.
Q. How about the non-footie people here, who are we talking about?
CAMERON SMITH: Cameron Smith.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah. He plays Rugby League. He's one of the greats, yeah.
Q. Is it too much to sort of say that this sort of grinding out win that's coming back from what you did is quintessentially Australian, that fighting spirit that people are showing back there now?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think so. I've always been quite good at not giving up. I've never felt the need to kind of mentally check out in any way. Like you were saying before, I started bogey, triple bogey, and then finished that day even par and progressed from there.
So, yeah, I mean, it was a big fight all week basically.
Q. And I want to ask about -- back to the Presidents Cup. How fired up internally or personally were you when you were, what was unexpected to almost everybody, left out on the opening day?
CAMERON SMITH: I think we all had a belief in Ernie's strategy. If that was the best thing for the team, then I was quite willing to sit out and cheer the boys on. We started 4-1, so, I mean, I don't think I -- I definitely don't feel as though I could have done anything more than what the guys did that day for sure.
Q. (No microphone.)
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. I went out there the first day, saw the first group tee off, watched all day and kind of got around the energy around the golf course, which was good thing. I felt ready the next day and pumped.
Q. What was it like playing out of bunkers that were wet and moist, and how do id you rate the one you had on 18, shot over a pond?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, you know, that was quite a good one. I felt comfortable in the bunkers all week. Felt as though I could kind of just stay on that left side and drive it and it was going to be perfect.
Being wet sand, the ball was always lying pretty good if you weren't already in a rake mark. You generally had a pretty good lie if you were in the bunkers.
Q. Kind of talk about your thought process standing over the putt on 18.
CAMERON SMITH: Well, I knew I had to hole it. It was just probably half cup outside left, and I putted really well all week. Given the conditions, windy conditions, it does get tricky to putt those shorter putts.
But, yeah, I felt as though standing over the putt I kind of already holed it in my mind, if you know what I mean. It was already in, so I just stepped over like I would any other putt, and just try and hit the ball where I thought it needed to start.
CAMERON SMITH: Thank you.
Q. How does this compare, this win, with some of the other things we were talking about, Presidents Cup. Where would you rank this in the overall picture?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I mean, it's right up there. My first individual win on the PGA TOUR, it's definitely going to be one I never forget for sure. Given the conditions and how tough it was, I'll definitely draw back on this in the future for sure.
Q. And we'll see you in Kapalua?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah. Yeah, for sure I'll be back.
Q. So you're sitting there on 17 -- sorry on 18 for a long time. You had a long wait. What were you going through there 15, 16 minutes between the tee shot and your next shot?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think it took us over half an hour to play the last hole. There was a lot of spare time. We just -- my caddie and I tried to talk about other stuff as much as we could, and once it was go time we were in.
And then over and over seemed like we waited for more than ten minutes on every shot there. It was definitely an experience.
Q. Quickly, this is a great step forward to potential Olympic goals. Can you talk to that.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah. I spoke to Ian (?) yesterday. He's going to be the captain again this year. I know he is egging for me to get on the team. I'll be trying my best for sure. I definitely want to be there and wear that green and gold as much as I can.
Q. Two quick things. Putt on 18... (No microphone.)
CAMERON SMITH: It was a bit of a crappy number really. It was right in between 3-iron and 3-wood, my biggest gap in the bag. If anything, it was going to be downwind, so we just decided to try and smash the 3-iron and didn't quite come off.
Yeah, good up and down nonetheless.
Q. Worked out well in the end. You were always pretty close regardless, but was the Masters something you wanted to take care of early this year?
CAMERON SMITH: Yes, that was -- you know, that was one of the goals at the start of the year, was to get there basically. That was the first -- kind of the first period goal, to get back to the Masters. It feels nice to say that it's ticked off so early.
Q. First period goal?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah.
Q. Is that a footie term?
CAMERON SMITH: (Laughter.) I don't know. Call it what you want.
THE MODERATOR: Cameron, congratulations once again.
CAMERON SMITH: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports