May 21, 2021
Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA
The Ocean Course at Kiawah
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by Cameron Smith, who posted a second-round 73. He is currently 1-over for the championship.
Cameron, your scorecard looks actually remarkably similar to yesterday's, but I think the conditions are tougher. Did you play better golf today? How did Friday compare to Thursday?
CAMERON SMITH: It wasn't too dissimilar to be honest. Probably a little bit scrappier with the driver today I think just given the conditions, just a lot more harder shots.
But no, pretty solid. A couple more putts could have gone in again today. No, but the game feels pretty good heading into the weekend.
Q. If it stays where it is, 5-under or so, do you feel pretty comfortable you can get after it given how tricky it can be out here?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think so. I think it's going to be really tricky on the weekend. I don't think the course is going to get any easier. So just got to keep doing what I'm doing, keep missing in the right places I think around here is a big one, and yeah, just hope for the best. Hopefully some putts go in.
Q. At a place like this, how hard is it to find birdies out there?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it's pretty tough. Those into-the-wind holes, you've got to hit two really good shots most of the time and you're still looking at a 30- or 40-footer with wind going everywhere. Yeah, it's crazy. It's almost -- I like how the course is, in that it gives you options around the green. It's not like you miss the green and you're completely dead. I always feel like you have a shot, so maybe that's why there's plenty of pars going out there. I mean, it's just so tough to make those 30-footers in the wind.
Q. I was going to ask you, you've probably played 20 majors in your career. Where would these two days rate in terms of toughness and stretching your mental capabilities and also your physical well-being?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I mean, it's been real tough. It's probably the two hardest condition days I think I've seen, to be honest. Maybe a few days around Augusta here and there, the British Open can get windy and wet, as we all know, but no, pretty tough stuff.
I mean, a score is still out there, which I love. I think the course has been set up really nice. It's just you've got to kind of get lucky with those longer putts to go in.
Q. No trouble sleeping at night?
CAMERON SMITH: No, no. It's a long walk around here. It's a long day, as well. Yeah, we didn't finish up yesterday until about 8:00 and had a quick dinner, and I was straight into bed.
Q. Based on some of the things you were saying and talking about how tough it is, how easy would it be for this course to get away from them if they weren't careful, or does it matter because of the way the bail-outs are?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think the grass, the paspalum, because it's so dense, it's never really going to dry out and do that. There's such a good surface on the greens.
I mean, even yesterday afternoon, it was hot, it was windy and the grass was still growing, so I think it's going to be hard for them to really get away. I think they've just got to be careful on those downwind holes, especially those par-3s. Hitting 7s and 6-irons into them today was pretty rough.
Q. Downwind, you said?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, downwind I think it's hard to -- especially when there's bunkers and so many tabletop greens. It's always hard to run something up there. I think they could be mindful of that.
Q. When you see that Phil has at the moment got a two-shot lead at the top, do you look at it like he's an old man now and he's potentially gettable, or do you look at it as he's a veteran who's won a lot of majors and he'll be tough to get?
CAMERON SMITH: He's still Phil Mickelson to me. He doesn't have to -- I mean, he can show up and he knows that he can win. He walks around like he can still win, and he talks the talk. No, it'll be tough to catch him, I think.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports