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November 13, 2020

Cameron Smith

Augusta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: Cameron, welcome. Six birdies and an eagle, finishing eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie on the way in. Pretty dreamy round. Can you tell us a bit about it?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it was a very up‑and‑down round, a little bit scrappy through the middle there. It could have definitely got away from me, just with the tiredness and playing 26 holes in a day. But hung in there, and the reward was there at the end.

Q. You've obviously had a good day and up at the top, and so is Abraham, and Sungjae is coming not far behind. Talk about the camaraderie of the International Team, how that steeled you going forward?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it was a great week. We've all become best of mates that week, and it's good to see them guys right up there. Abe finished five or ten minutes before me, so we were giving each other fisties on the back there, so it was good.

Q. You obviously have always loved the tough stuff, the stuff that's surprisingly tougher than the rest. You had a lull before the last few weeks. You've come up again, as you do at this time of year. Speak to what it is that makes you step up when the stakes are higher?
CAMERON SMITH: I don't know, really, to be honest. I really don't know.

Q. The team?
CAMERON SMITH: I don't know, I just like being tested, I guess. I feel like my game is best when I have to think a lot and hit the right shots, and it's an even playing field. So, yeah, I mean, if I had to say something, that would probably be it.

Q. Can you take us inside that finishing stretch a little bit? I know you hit it in tight at 15, but some of the clubs you were hitting in and just your feeling of getting on a run like that to finish?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it was good. I was saying to Bussey after the bogey on 15, let's just get it back to 7. We got to 7 early in the round, and it's kind of weird finishing lower than you were at one point.
So yeah, we had 15 and 16 obviously with the pin down on the bottom today, one of the easier pins there, and then just hit a nice drive down 17 and 18. Two solid shots in. It wasn't crazy stuff. It was just really solid and the putts dropped.

Q. What club did you hit?
CAMERON SMITH: Sorry, you did ask me that. I hit 7‑wood into 15. I hit 7‑iron into 16. Pitching wedge into 17 and 7‑iron into the last hole.

Q. How do you feel about the position you've put yourself into heading into the weekend or with 36 holes to play?
CAMERON SMITH: Obviously there's a lot of boys still out there trying to work some magic, so we'll see. I'm sure we're not going to be too far off the lead. It's obviously good to be in contention on a weekend, and I feel like I've been there enough where I can have a good crack at it. So hopefully the boys don't go too crazy out there this afternoon.

Q. When you started Sony, you were 4‑over through two holes, could have given up; didn't; ended up winning. Here there's a few moments where you could have gottenreally agro and given up, and you didn't. Again, can you speak to why you don't have the give‑up meter in you?
CAMERON SMITH: I don't know. I just like to play good golf. I like to feel like I'm getting the most out of my round. I don't generally try and push anything aside. I try and work it, even if it's a tenth of a shot, I want it.
Like I said, through the middle of the round there, it could have got away from me, and it's easy to get away, you know, especially through 11, 12, 13, hit some bad shots there. It's almost your tournament and done and dusted. Just dug deep and yeah, the reward was there at the end.

Q. We're not playing team golf this week or anything like that, but your win over Justin in December, is that something that can steel you, when you go up against him, DJ, all these guys are going to be there these next two days? Knowing you can match up under the fire, is that going to steel you in these last two rounds?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think my best golf is right up there. It's the stuff in between that gets me. Those guys are just so good at getting the most out of their game all the time, and that's something I need to learn to do. But I feel like when I'm playing really good golf, I can be right up there.

Q. The second shot‑‑ did you think it had a chance to go in?
CAMERON SMITH: No. I mean, you're not really expecting‑‑ I was actually trying to hit it about 20 or 30 feet right and the wind kind of caught it a little bit more than I liked, and ended up being good.

Q. Where were you when Adam won this tournament in 2013, and what kind of effect, if any, did it have on you and what you were getting going on?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I actually remember it like it was yesterday. I was at QAS, which is the Queensland Academy of Sports. We were in the gym. It was early in the morning. The whole golf team was in there, and we all quit our gym session and watched the last three or four holes and obviously the playoff.
It was cool coming here only two or three years after that and hitting the same shots he did, and obviously the putt on 10 and the putt on 18 that he made. It just makes you want to be here, seeing how special it was for him, too.
THE MODERATOR: 9‑under par after 36 holes in your fourth Masters. Can you speak to the contrast of playing in the spring and playing in November?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, the course, it's so different to what it normally plays, like I've only been here three times. I feel like I've seen it probably at its firmest and now at its softest.
When it's firm, you're just looking for slopes. You've got to hit the right shots in to use the slope to get to certain pins. That's just not the case this week. I feel like you can be a lot more aggressive, and I feel like the narrow areas that you normally are trying to hit just become that little bit wider, and that's probably why the scoring is the way it is.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Cameron. Have a great rest of the week. Hope we see a lot of you.

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