May 17, 2022
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Southern Hills Country Club
JULIUS MASON: We welcome Cameron Smith, ladies and gentlemen, to the 104th PGA Championship here at Southern Hills. Feeling pretty good about where your game is coming into the second major of the year?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, game feels really good. Had a bit of a refresh, the last two weeks. Had three weeks off. Yeah, so it was good to set the clubs down for probably ten days, and then got back into it working hard. Had my trainer and psychologist over last week and did a lot of good work at home.
Yeah, feels really good. I feel fresh.
JULIUS MASON: Your first time to Southern Hills.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah.
JULIUS MASON: How much golf have you played so far? Have you played all 18.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, played nine holes yesterday afternoon and played all 18 morning. I think the golf course is great. I think it's going to be a really good test. I love the surrounds of the greens rolling off, same slopes of golf we play back in Australia.
Yeah, I like that grass around a little bit longer around the greens. I think some guys that aren't really good around the greens get away with putting a lot, so I think that will test them way that week.
JULIUS MASON: Were you somewhat familiar with Southern Hills Country Club's history and the history of major champions at this venue.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, not really before the start of the week but just walking through hallways and clubhouse here, it's all very cool. They have a very cool setup inside. I've been walking up and down the hallways reading some history. It's good.
Q. From what I see, you don't do a lot of preparation. It's not like your watching videos of the other majors. You get here and figure out what you have to do. Can you tell us about that?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I like to treat every week the same. I don't like to turn up earlier and do some more prep. I like to think of every week the same. I do the same preparation. Play 18, 27 holes, really figure out the firmness and the speed of the greens and then from there, just really work on some shots on the range that I may have picked up here and there.
Yeah, just get ready and fresh for Thursday.
Q. So based on that, what's the key here this week? What's going to be the key to make shots or key things that you can do?
CAMERON SMITH: I think the fairways are quite generous, but if you miss a fairway, it can be quite penal. The rough, the ball is coming out super hot, and I think the greens throughout the week will really firm up. So I think staying on the fairways and the greens have a lot of pitch to them, so just leaving yourself some nice uphillers I think would be good.
Q. So in connection to what you were saying at the beginning, I feel like you are one of these kind of players that does his own thing, his own way. Like all this noise around things that is not affecting you much. Do you pay attention to all attention that is given to other things? How do you do that?
CAMERON SMITH: I guess I've all been like that. Yeah, I just try and focus on what I can do best to prepare myself to win golf tournaments. That's what I'm out here to do, and yeah, I think getting caught up in all that stuff sometimes can be a bit of a hindrance. Yeah, just try and do my own thing and hopefully it all works out.
Q. You reset yourself for every major and every tournament. Do you carry any frustrating? You've been doing pretty well at the majors but didn't get to the finish line. Any frustrating? Anything that you regret or not really?
CAMERON SMITH: No, I wouldn't say I regret anything. I think there are shots that you have to hit to win golf tournaments, and sometimes they just don't work out.
Frustrated, yes, for a little bit, but definitely no regrets.
Q. You've had a great result in the majors but at the start of the new season, do you look at the majors in terms of your fondness for the setup of the courses? I know you had a great result at Augusta, but where would the sort of PGA Championship rate, start of the new season, and you look towards to the four majors?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think the PGA is probably the one that I've struggled with the most. It's typically set up, very demanding off the tee. I don't think that's really been my strong suit out here ever.
A lot of work the last week on the driver. Trying to get it straight rather than trying to get a little bit more distance out of it. Yeah, just more opportunities from the fairway I think is what I need, especially around here. The rough can be pretty penal.
Q. Talking about the course and what you've seen so far, do you see that as your strength, using the driver this week?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think the course has got a good mix with long and short holes. I think it's going to be quite windy, so there might be a few other woods or longer irons off the tee. It's a bit of a thinker's golf course around here. I really like it.
Q. Probably a little bit of a controversial question, if you had to buy a shout of beers this week, would you be looking forward towards that, or not this week?
CAMERON SMITH: If I had to buy a shout beers...
Q. Given the prices they are over there.
CAMERON SMITH: Oh, right, right. Yeah, I mean, it's expensive. I probably wouldn't pay 20 bucks for a beer personally.
Q. Your pairing, Viktor Hovland and Will Zalatoris, nice big-name pairing. Are you looking to playing in a big group like that?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. Two really good guys. I don't think I've played with Will before. Seen him around a little bit. Spoke to him a few times.
Yeah, I know Hovi quite well and we always have a laugh. Shay, his caddie, is an Aussie, as well. Always good having a couple more Aussies in the group.
Q. You're the group behind Tiger. Do you need to prepare slightly different when you know there's going to be big crowds behind you and there's going to be a lot of fans in that area of the golf course?
CAMERON SMITH: I think there can be a lot of external noise especially with crowds and just a lot more moving parts I guess.
So yeah, just another thing to really think about. I don't -- I wouldn't say I change anything for. Just probably make sure, you know, spend a little bit more time worrying about what's happening outside to make sure when you're inside, inside that shot, everything's perfect.
JULIUS MASON: Cameron, have a great week. Thank you for joining us.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports