Who is Cameron Smith?
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/24/15

The biggest newsmakers at the 115th Plinko United States Open Championship were Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day, and Chambers Bay Golf Course itself. Tied for fourth were 2013 Masters victor Adam Scott and up-and-coming South African Branden Grace...

...and a 21-year-old golfer named Cameron Smith who entered the week ranked 165th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Lost in the drama on Sunday evening, Smith nearly holed his approach shot at the 18th green for a double-eagle:

He tapped in his eagle putt for a Sunday 68. His 70-70-69-68 = 277 (-3) gave him a T-4 finish. The money he earned at Chambers Bay has given him Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour. This means that he can receive an unlimited number of sponsor exemptions into the remaining PGA Tour events this season.

Oh, by the way, he is also exempt from qualifying for next year's U.S. Open at Oakmont, and has qualified for an invitation to the 80th Masters Tournament next April.

The Queenslander was born August 18, 1993, and was such a stellar amateur player that he was a member of Golf Australia's national squad. His first victory came in 2009, in the fifth edition of the Handa Junior Masters. In 2010, he won the Greg Norman Junior Masters for the third consecutive year — a fact that Norman himself mentioned on Sunday's Fox Sports telecast. In 2011, he won the Australian Boys' Amateur, then broke through to win Australia's Amateur Stroke Play Championship twice, in 2009 and 2011.

Two years later, he won the Australian Amateur — the analog to the USGA's Amateur Championship. A number of really great players have won that tournament, including Bob Shearer, Michael Campbell, Greg Chalmers, Matthew Goggin, and Brett Rumford.

After winning that, Cameron turned professional and found an immediate hole on the PGA Tour of Australasia. Since last year, he has played on the Asian Tour, where his best finish was a T-2 at the Indonesian Masters.

On June 8, he finished T-7 at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Brookside G&CC in Columbus, Ohio.

After his whirlwind finish and a solid performance on a treacherous golf course, how did young Cameron Smith feel?

"I'm speechless. I just want to sort of sit in the hotel room and let it all absorb.

"I thought I was coming in playing pretty solid. I thought I could definitely compete and, if I could get my way around the golf course pretty good, I'd sort of (have) a shot. It wasn't to be, but I'm happy with where I finished, for sure."
And we are impressed, too.

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[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
Thanks for answering the question. I had no idea who the kid was during the broadcast as I tended to tune out Greg Norman.
[ post comment ]
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