Smith has his sights on the Stonehaven – Golf Australia Magazine
Back in Australia for the first time in three years, Smith took part with his coach Grant Field in leading a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest-ever golf lesson at Royal Queensland on Sunday.
The pair fell short but Smith has bigger fish to fry.
The 29-year-old will headline this week’s Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland but also has his sights firmly on the Australian Open from December 1-4 in Melbourne.
“I have been fortunate enough to win the PGA twice and, don’t get me wrong, I’d like to knock off another one, but I haven’t won an Australian Open yet,” Smith said.
“I’d love to knock that one off. For Aussie professional golfers, it is right at the top of the list.
“The Aussie Open (honour board) has some really nice names on it and it would be nice to put my name on it.”
Smith won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass and the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews in a 2022 to remember.
The Greg Norman Medal will be awarded on Tuesday night to the best Australian male or female golfer on the international stage in 2022. Smith and U.S. Women’s Open winner Minjee Lee are odds-on joint favourites and could even share the award.
Norman won the Australian Open five times and is CEO of LIV Golf, a tour which Smith recently joined and had early success on in winning the Chicago Invitational in September.
He said it would cap his year to win the medal named after an Australian golfing legend.
“It would just put a really nice finish to the year I’ve had,” said Smith, who also won the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Championships in January and finished third at the Masters.
“Winning four times is something I never thought would happen at the start of the year.
“Last off-season I worked my butt off and did all the right things. It started off in Hawaii as a great year and kept getting better so I think (winning the medal) would be massive.
“(Norman) is at every (LIV) event and he like the rest of us wants the best things to happen. I have little chats to him. Being a great golfer himself he understands the pressures of tournament golf.”
Smith returned to Wantima Country Club on Saturday and was feted at the course where it all started for him.
“It was a remembrance day for a guy I grew up with, Jason Young. We played a two-ball Ambrose with my sister,” said the World No.3.
“Then we had a trophy night, which was really good fun. It was really good to have a few beers with the guys I’ve missed.
“I brought the (Claret) jug. Everyone enjoyed having their photos taken and having a sip out of the jug. Having the jug in the clubhouse was something those people will never forget.”
Field said the lesson attended by hundreds of golfers at Royal Queensland was a reflection of the type of person Smith is as much as his success.
“That is what most people are drawn to and why he has such a big fan base. It is the human more than the athlete.”