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Smith the best $10,000 Australian Open organisers will spend

13 November 2018 7:39 AM
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"I've worked hard back at home the last couple of weeks, just trying to prepare for this week. I really want this one.

"It's a combination of winning the PGA last year and this is the last one to tick off in Australia.

Open organisers have come under fire for not securing bigger names, especially perennial Australian summer pin-up Scott who was in Sydney at the start of the week.

Appearance money has always been afforded to the bigger names and genuine stars. American Dustin Johnson makes himself available for a reported $2 million at any time of the year.

It would have been a complete disaster if a player like Smith, the world No. 33 who charged to a top-five finish at The Masters this year, had also been an Open no-show.

He lost in a play-off to Jordan Spieth in 2016 - the moment most people suddenly realised there was more than one talented sportsman in Australia by the name Cameron Smith - and then finished fourth last year.

Bookies have installed Smith as the $8 favourite with the Queenslander expected to attract the biggest gallery.

"I'm here and trying to win the Australian Open, I'm the best-ranked Aussie, but it doesn't mean I'm the only one flying the flag,'' Smith said.

"We've focused this year on getting into the gym and trying to hit the ball further, and keep doing what we've been doing.

"We haven't changed much up. Hitting the ball a bit further and being more aggressive into the greens was the key this year.


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