May 21, 2023
Rochester, New York, USA
Oak Hill Country Club
THE MODERATOR: Cameron Smith joins us now at the 105th PGA Championship. A nice 5-under 65 for you today. What was working for you and going well for you out there to have such a good day?
CAMERON SMITH: Probably just a little bit better off the tee today. Just a few more fairways. The irons felt great all week, and yeah, just wasn't able to drive the ball how I wanted to. It's pretty penal around here in the rough.
Yeah, it was good to see that driver just straighten up a little bit today and the few putts drop as well.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take some questions.
Q. Cam, given how hard the week was, what's the sense OF accomplishment finishing in the red on this golf course?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, that was kind of the goal today was to get back in the red and just kind of see what happens. Obviously, the course softened up yesterday with all that rain, and the fairways were kind of holding up a little bit more rather than running off into the rough. The greens were quite receptive, too. It was definitely a gettable golf course.
Yeah, just happy to really just string around here. That was good to see.
Q. I think they said your 65 ties the low fourth round in a PGA at Oak Hill. What's it like to leave here with a little piece of history?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, that's always nice. Those stats, I mean, you never really think of before you are teeing off. I think the goal is to go out there and shoot as low as you can. Yeah, that's a kind of nice feeling, I guess.
Q. So, Cam, can you take us through the four days? Different weather, different conditions, quite tough. Did you really enjoy these conditions?
CAMERON SMITH: It's hard to say that yesterday was enjoyable. It was a grind out there yesterday, but I thought the course was presented really well at the start of the week. It was really firm and fast. You had to hit the right shots even off the tees to hold some fairways, so yeah, really strong golf course.
As it softened up, it kind of allowed a few more opportunities, but yeah, very enjoyable week. I love the golf course.
Q. A good number of players were say it's the toughest golf course they played in a while. Is that your experience, too?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it's definitely up there. I think the first couple of days when it was firm and fast, like I said, you hit -- sometime you hit a great drive, and it just dribbles off into the rough, and you are hacking a wedge out. That stuff gets pretty tiring after a while.
It was a grind. Yeah, I think it was tough but fair.
Q. Long way to go, but Brooks is obviously having another good week in a major and obviously has on LIV. I don't know how much you've played with him, but anything you have seen in him over the last few months that suggests that he would keep being in this position here now?
CAMERON SMITH: I mean, every time I play with Brooks he is pretty impressive, to be honest. I haven't really played too many times where he has kind of scrapped it around. He has always been a great ball striker.
When he is holing putts like he is at the moment, he is pretty dangerous. Like he said as well, I think he is back to being healthy. I think that brings a little bit of internal confidence as well being out there and just being able to do your stuff.
Q. I don't know if we're past this point yet or not, but there are four LIV guys, I believe, top 20 or so right now. Does it say anything or should we even be talking about it anymore?
CAMERON SMITH: I don't think so. I gave up on that narrative about six months ago, I think (laughing). I think there's been a few guys that have been trying to kick it along a little bit.
We're still out there. We haven't forgot how to play golf. We're all great golfers out there, and we know what we can do, and I think that's what we're trying to do.
Q. What would be a couple of highlights on the seven birdies?
CAMERON SMITH: Oh, hitting some fairways was really nice. I think that start today was -- just having not quite my best stuff off the tee and kind of almost scrapping it around the first few days, to be able to start like that was a bit of a confidence booster.
Then, kind of got a little scrappy there through the middle, but any birdie is a good birdie around here. It's hard to say which one was better than others, but yeah.
Q. At what point in there did you kind of feel like you were on to something?
CAMERON SMITH: I hit a really -- I struggled on the 6 hole like most people have this week. I hit a really nice drive down the left-hand side there and hit a nice 5-iron. That kind of just got -- it finished off a good stretch for me, but it was just free enough once you get past that 6 hole, the golf course gives you a little bit more than those previous six.
Q. You admitted earlier that you got off to a bit of a slow start this year for a myriad of reasons. Do you feel like you are turning the corner now? Obviously a strong showing last week and now here again.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it's starting to feel really nice. I think a little bit too much time off with the golf clubs probably has, I guess, kind of delayed how I wanted to start the year. Now it's starting to feel really nice.
I'm starting to feel confident with those irons, which when I'm playing good golf, that's where I feel like I'm at. If I'm in the fairway and I have an iron in my hand, I really feel like I can be competitive out there, and that's what I'm doing.
Q. Do you know anything about LA Country Club? You ever been or heard much about it?
CAMERON SMITH: I've never been. I've heard really good things. The U.S. Open is also another challenging experience, so I'm sure that they've tightened it up a little bit, mixed it up a little bit. Yeah, looking forward to another grind there that week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports