Aussie’s ‘killer instinct’ could take him to the top

Cameron Smith has the “killer instinct” needed to win a major sooner rather than later according to fellow Aussie Adam Scott, who says the Masters is within Smith’s reach.

Scott and Smith have been playing practice rounds at Augusta this week, as they did last year when Smith set a new scoring record to finish second behind world number one Dustin Johnson.

But it was less the numbers, as Smith became the first player in Masters history to shoot four rounds in the 60s, and more the manner in which the Queenslander played that excited Scott.

“We saw the potential that he has here just five months ago. I think more than anything with the experience and his maturity, he’s got that kind of killer instinct in him when he’s in the hunt,” Scott said.,

“I see it when he plays match play. I saw it at the Presidents Cup (where he took down world No 2 Justin Thomas on the final day at Royal Melbourne)

“Although he was always kind of trailing DJ, he never backed down. He didn‘t give DJ much breathing space. DJ still had to play a great round of golf Sunday.

“It looked like he was always well ahead, but there were moments where if one made and one missed, he was right there, and Cam is right up for the fight.

“His game is coming along nicely, consistent performing. It would have been no surprise if he’s contending again, and if it’s not this year it’ll be another major this year or next year he could come up and win for sure.”

Patron views.

Smith will play with 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth, who won his first tournament since 2018 in Texas last weekend, across the opening two rounds.

He said it was good to “pick the brain” of Scott during Masters practice rounds.

“Obviously, Scottie I think has been here about 20 years, so he knows a lot more about the course than what I do,” he said.

“There‘s no real trick around here. You just need to play good golf.”

Marc Leishman enters the Masters a bit more off the radar than in previous years having slipped out of the world top 20 with just one top 10-finish in eight events this year.

But he was tied 13th at the Masters last November, has two top-10 finishes at Augusta, and knows the hard and fast conditions could bring out his best.

“I’m really excited about that. I feel like that's when I've played my best golf around here, when it's been hard and fast. I remember 2013 (when he finished fourth), it was like this,” he said.

“I think it rewards good and punishes bad shots more when it's like this, and the more you know the course, I think the bigger advantage it is when it is like this.”

Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman on the third hole during a practice round before the Masters. Picture: Jared C. Tilton/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

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