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April 7, 2022

Cameron Smith

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to welcome Cameron Smith back to the media room. Cameron is our joint leader day one of the Masters. Had a wonderful round today, Cam, eight birdies, no bogeys. Do you want to tell us a little bit about the conditions out on the course and how you kind of had to adapt to the wind, et cetera.

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I mean, firstly, the condition of the course was amazing given the amount of rain we've had the last couple of days. It was just gusty out there. The wind was quite tricky, and you've almost got to be good at guessing and just commit to what you and your caddie have kind of worked out and just hit the shot.

Q. You started and ended with a double bogey and had eight birdies. Is that one of the weirdest rounds you've ever had as a pro golfer?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, you know, to be honest, those couple of double bogeys really didn't have too bad a shots in them. It's not like I was scratching it out of the trees. Got my second shot into a reasonable spot and just misjudged the wind on both wedges. Yeah, just left myself in a bit of a tough spot.

Other than that, it was just really solid.

Q. What were you thinking as you walked off the first green? Were you frustrated at all or were you staying patient?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, just staying patient. I love this place. I know it presents plenty of birdies. I just really had to get in a groove. I hit a great drive down the second and went into the bunker, which again was quite frustrating, but after probably the fourth or fifth hole there, started getting on a bit of a trot and started seeing those good iron shots go pretty close.

Q. The 18th hole is trending as the most difficult hole today. Can you describe the challenge it presets?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think most of us are right-handed golfers out here, and the wind blowing behind your back there is never really a nice thing. And the tee shot is so demanding there, you almost have to hug the tree line down the left. Even if you just start it right slightly, I think you'll find yourself in those right trees and having to chip out. It's not surprising at all.

Q. Have you seen the hole location that far to the right before?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, that's generally where it is. I don't think they could put it any further right, but it's generally around there.

Q. What are you going to do over the next 20 or so hours? Your tee time tomorrow is 1:30. How are you going to relax and put that last double bogey out of your mind?

CAMERON SMITH: I think I'll go back to the house, get on the bike, probably do half an hour there and then probably prepare some dinner, I think. That will be about it, and then probably a good rest.

I feel like today was a very long day. Given that Bryson and I were just playing by ourselves, lots of waiting. Lots of mental energy I think was exhausted today, so just a good rest would be nice.

Q. Did winning THE PLAYERS affect your schedule? Were you always planning on taking this whole time off between THE PLAYERS and here?

CAMERON SMITH: No, I wasn't originally. I was planning on playing the Match Play. My sister and my mom stayed in town that week, and I had a really long week, felt very physically and mentally drained, and I thought it would just be best to see my mom and my sister. I hadn't seen them in over two and a half years, and just really wanted to spend some quality time with them.

Q. Did you worry at all that the longish break would sort of break your momentum from Jacksonville?

CAMERON SMITH: I was unsure, to be honest. I feel like my game is still really solid. I kept up with it pretty good. I probably had a week off. As soon as my mom and my sister went, I got back into golf pretty good, and yeah, just started feeling really good.

I didn't lose any confidence, but it's definitely nice to get a string of tournaments going for sure.

Q. You were playing ahead of Tiger today; was it difficult at all to block out some of the noise and just some of the gravitational pull patrons have to Tiger in playing your round today?

CAMERON SMITH: Not really. I actually found myself a couple of times today, because we were waiting so much, just watching. I almost felt like a patron out there at some points today. You can't not watch him; he's unreal. There was definitely a lot of noise, but yeah, just was really good at just focusing on one shot at a time.

Q. When did you decide and what caused you to decide to be more involved in physical training, and what's it done for your game?

CAMERON SMITH: I've been probably in and out -- I feel as though the last five or six years I've been really inconsistent with my training, and probably the last eight months or so I've been just really consistent. I've made lots of good changes, I think, to my body, and I just feel like I'm able to walk off the golf course and not be wrecked, basically a lot of probably 50/50 cardio and actually lifting some weights.

Most of the time I feel pretty fresh walking off the golf course, which is a feeling I don't think I had for a long time, and it's I think why my game has probably got a lot more consistent through four rounds.

Q. Anything that it does to your golf swing?

CAMERON SMITH: I don't think so. I think I lost a little bit of weight. My body moves a little bit quicker when I don't have so much around my belly. I think I've definitely started to see my driver going probably a little bit further, definitely the swing speed up a little bit. I just need to -- now I think the next step is just being able to control that and hit more fairways.

Q. You've talked about imagination; what did you see on the chip-in at 5? Was that one you were trying to hole? Was that routine or was that pretty high difficulty for you?

CAMERON SMITH: I had a really nice lie, so it was definitely one that I was trying to hole. It wasn't really that difficult of a shot I don't think. I just needed to land it there somewhere on the green with a little bit of spin and it was going to be there or thereabouts.

I felt as thought I made a couple of good swings and just had to grind it out those first few holes.

Q. The bike that you mentioned, you're going out on the road or is that an indoor bike?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, an indoor bike.

Q. Are you sharing a house with anyone this week?

CAMERON SMITH: I've got one of my friends and my girlfriend and that's it.

Q. You mentioned cooking supper. Are you normally the chef on tournament weeks? Do you handle all the cooking?

CAMERON SMITH: I've got a -- I like being in control most of the time. The people around me sometimes hate me for it, but I cooked up some spaghetti bolognese last night, which was pretty handy, one of my favorite. I don't know what we're in store for tonight.

Q. So you're not going back to the spaghetti because you've got the lead? You're not a superstitious eater?

CAMERON SMITH: No, not really.

Q. When you look at a round like today, if you take 1 and 18 out, it's a spectacular score given the conditions. Do you focus more on, hey, man, I played so well in that middle stretch, or does 1 and 18 sort of nibble at you?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think 1 and 18 was obviously really frustrating. I think it'll motivate me the next few days. I feel like I played some really solid golf today, and to be 4-under is a little bit disappointing. But given the condition of the golf course and the condition with the wind and stuff like that, if you had have given me 4-under at the start of the day, I would have taken it.

Q. Tell us about how you get your hair like that and why.

CAMERON SMITH: Just grow it. That's about it. I see the barber probably once a month and he cleans it up, and then towards the end of the month it gets scruffy again and then it gets clean again. It's probably at its cleanest it's been for quite a while.

Q. During those wait times today did you mainly chat with your caddie Sam or did you have a bit of a chat with Bryson, and what do you talk about when you've got so long between each shot?

CAMERON SMITH: Oh, not much maybe. We were talking a ton about the Broncos at home, a lot about rugby league and there was a pretty good mojo in the group. We kept it pretty chatty all day.

Q. So many great short game and putting specialists, so to speak, have won here, Seve and all the way to Patrick Reed. Do you feel like you're in that style of play -- and Jordan Spieth. And does it give you a sense of belonging or comfort here that this is sort of your place?

CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I love this place. I think my short game has definitely got me out of a lot of bad spots around here, but at the end of the day I think you just need to give yourself opportunities. You need to hit your irons close, and you need to be really good with the putter.

I think the chipping is -- maybe helps you out once or twice during the week with a bit of a scruffy round, but I think if you're going to win around here, you've got to hit really quality iron shots.

Q. How and when did you find out you guys were going to be a twosome, and were there any adjustments you could try to make for that?

CAMERON SMITH: I think Paul come over to me on the range as I was walking to the putting green and said I wouldn't be able to -- he's not going to be able to compete today. I think he had a bit of a back issue. I think just the whole tempo of today has to be slowed down a little bit. I think with threes you just get in a bit more of a flow. The tempo today was very slow, lots of slow walking and then slow reading of greens and stuff like that, just trying to really take our time.

Q. On the double bogeys, are you the sort of person who would mull over that for the next three days or it's out of mind straight away and you move on?

CAMERON SMITH: No, I've moved on already. The less you guys bring it up, the less, the quicker I'll forget about it. No, I'm done with it. I think the stuff in between was really nice, and yeah, just take the positives out of it.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Cam, lots to love about a great round today. We wish you all the best for the rest of the week.

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