February 1, 2023
King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
Royal Greens Golf and Country Club
CAM SMITH: To be in a competition setting will be a little bit different, but yeah, we'll come around as the week gets on.
Q. Saudi is a good place to get yourself started for the season ahead, the course, it's a good place to get started?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, obviously it feels really good. The course here is a really good test. Usually gets quite gusty and really windy around here, so you have to really control your ball, and the course looks fantastic, as well.
Q. Feel any different going into 2023 from 2022 based on expectation or your thoughts? Just the feels as a player?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, I think probably 2022 would be a really tough one to back up. For sure just keeping the same processes going, really digging deep, working hard on my game at home I think is really what I need to do. It's really easy when you're playing good golf to be quite of complacent.
Yeah, just keeping on top of that, keeping on top of the body, and like I said, just keep working on it.
Q. How have you gone about settling your goals, establishing where you're going to play, what you're going to do? How does that change maybe this season?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, I'm not really a massive goal setter. I kind of set my goals, I guess, day-to-day. I'm more of a kind of tick-the-box guy, I think. Just do what I can do to make myself a better golfer that day, and hopefully when I'm teeing it up in a tournament, it all comes together, and I can there Saturday and Sunday and hole a few nice putts and lift the trophy.
Q. You said the off-season being in Australia, this is obviously an Asian Tour event, is that important to you personally to play globally, to influence the game in Asia, to be part of the Asian Tour?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. I've loved the last four or five months traveling a little bit. I think for a while there, I was kind of stuck in the U.S., obviously probably due to COVID and stuff like that, as well. But yeah, it's nice to get out and see different parts of the world and definitely grow the game.
This is my third time here, and you can see what it's done just in three times. Yeah, it's awesome.
Q. As Open Champion what's it been like in the off-season? Have you had the Claret Jug with you, and what's the response been like when people see the Claret Jug?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, it's been really good. I took it back down to Australia, took it to my home club. They actually had a trophy night kind of the day that I got back down there, so I took it to the trophy night. It was a little bit hectic. Yeah, it's a pretty cool trophy. I'd describe it as like seeing a ghost, I think, for most part, kind of the look that it brings to their face and the feeling that it gives them is pretty special.
Yeah, it's been awesome. I've taken it everywhere with me. Just about had every liquid you can put in there I've tried to put in it. But it's been awesome. It's been fun over Christmas; the family drinking out of it was something I'll never forget.
Q. Did order a replica?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, I got a replica probably a couple months ago, so that one is sitting in the office at home, and trying to keep the other one, the original one, kind of under lock and key a little bit more.
Q. Must be nice to walk in the office and see it, even though it is a replica?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. It's a really good reminder, and it kind of motivates you. You don't want to let that thing go. It's so cool. It motivates you to be a better golfer.
Q. Which liquid tasted the best out of the Claret Jug?
CAM SMITH: Probably a 4X Gold. I'm a big Brisbane guy, so you hadn't go past the local beer. Yeah, it's been awesome.
I think, like I said, just when people see it, it's such a cool experience to see their face as they're seeing it. It's epic.
Q. I know your ranking has not fallen as much as some of the other players because you were right up there when you left, but I'd really love to have your thoughts on the World Ranking, or the lack of it, that you guys are facing, and how is it affecting you?
CAM SMITH: I mean, I've tried to take it not that badly, to be honest. I think when you rock up to a tournament, you know who you have to beat, whether there's a World Ranking or not. There's generally seven or eight guys that are in that field that you know are going to put up a pretty good fight.
For sure it hurts. I feel as though I was really close to getting to No. 1, and that was definitely something I wanted to tick off, but kind of the longer that this stuff goes on, I think the more obsolete those rankings become.
That's just the long and short of it, I think.
Do we need them? It would be nice, but I don't -- like I said, you know who you've got to beat when you get on the golf course.
Q. Can you just talk a bit about this golf course particularly and how you feel on it. You were a bit frustrated last year over here; you didn't play that well, according to your own high standards. Just talk about the golf course, and what did you think of it and where it plays to your strengths.
CAM SMITH: Yeah, it's a really tough golf course, I think, off the tee. That's probably where I struggle the most in my game. When it gets a little bit breezy, those fairways become pretty tight, and there's a couple of shots out there that are really uncomfortable for me. I spent a little bit of time today focusing a little bit more on the driver and seeing some shapes and maybe some lower shots with 3-wood and stuff just to get the ball in play. Yeah, it's a really solid golf course.
I think you have to play -- you obviously have to play well to win, but you just kind of have to navigate your way around and hole some putts. It gets really tricky once it gets windy holing those five-, six-footers with some gusty winds.
Q. I asked you this in Chicago and you said that one of the things that you really love about LIV Golf is the fact that you are going to create your own business, you are going to create your own team and all the aspects of that. How far did you progress with the franchise as such, and with the tournament coming up in Australia, as well, how excited are you about that part of your career?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, it's definitely been a little bit different. I guess it's been an off-season for golf but kind of seemed like I was on the phone every day talking about something to do with the team. So it's been really exciting.
It's for sure been a little bit different and something that I'm not really used to, but I feel as though the longer it progresses, the more I'm getting used to it.
Yeah, it's really exciting. I can't wait for us to start up in Mexico. I think we'll have a great year, and for sure looking forward to that event in Adelaide. I think it'll be a ripping tournament.
Q. Have you already decided on the name and logo?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, we have. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say it or not, but yeah, we've got it all sorted.
Q. You mentioned that you were over in Dubai; how are you finding this year after a long time away from home and being in Asia? Are you getting more home comforts and also spending more time in Asia, as well? Is Australia where you want?
CAM SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. I really hadn't spent much time in the Middle East before the start of last year, and yeah, it's been unreal. I love it over here. This is my first time to Dubai. It was such a great city. We had a lot of fun. We played a lot of good golf courses. Yeah, it's unreal over here. It's definitely feeling more like home for sure.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports