Date: April 26, 2018
Author: Ben Everill, US PGA Tour

Cam keeps coming up clutch

Deadlines create pressure.

They bring stress. Anxiety.

Some falter under the stress. Others thrive.

Just ask Cameron Smith. He fits firmly in the latter category.

The 24-year-old Australian, who forms half of the defending duo at this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, has already proven his propensity to perform his best when the pressure is highest.

Just look at last year’s Monday finish at TPC Louisiana, where Smith clinched the title by knocking a wedge to 3 feet on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff.

“He has a sense of occasion,” says his long-time coach, Grant Field.

And it all started, unexpectedly, with a missed deadline.

Smith has shown his mettle many times since missing his tee time at Tour Q-School in November 2013.

He turned up to The Woodlands Country Club near Houston for his Wednesday practice round, only to find that the tournament had already begun and his tee time had passed. He was duly disqualified. Smith had mistakenly assumed play started on Thursday.

It was a costly error, but one that woke the youngster up.

“In a way it helped him,” Field says. “It was a brutal lesson to learn but he just got on with it. He didn’t dwell on it. He got back to business. He certainly didn’t let it define him.”