‘That is as bad as I’ve played in a long time’: Cameron Smith off to ‘rubbish’ start at ISPS Handa Australian Open

Looking to become the first Australian to win the British Open and Australian Open in the same year, Cameron Smith got off to a “rubbish” start on Thursday at his national Open, and by his terms that’s putting it lightly.

“That is as bad as I’ve played in a long time. It was pretty (expletive),” said Smith of his 1-over 71 in the opening round at Victoria Golf Club. “I think the course was pretty difficult, the conditions were pretty difficult, but I need to be better than that.”

The world No. 3 won the Australian PGA Championship for a third time last week and properly celebrated the victory with friends and family at a local bar.

“Maybe some delayed tiredness, maybe. I did feel a little bit foggy out there at times,” explained Smith, “but it’s not really an excuse, it’s my job to do all that stuff.”

“It’s not like I don’t know how to play golf, it was just a bit of a bad day.”

The unique event is held over the two courses – Victoria and Kingston Heath golf clubs – and this year is concurrently running both men’s and women’s tournaments, with each offering a $1.15 million purse. This year’s event also includes an all-abilities division which will begin play on Friday.

David Micheluzzi shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday at Victoria to take the early lead on the men’s side, with Grace Kim leading the women after a 7-under 66 at Kingston Heath (the women are playing the course at a par 73) in the first round.