Cameron Smith in action during the Australian Open Golf Championship.
Cameron Smith in action during the Australian Open Golf Championship. DEAN LEWINS

Smith has high hopes for Australian PGA

GOLF: Much like his rugby league namesake, Brisbane golfer and US tournament winner Cameron Smith loves coming home to Queensland.

And just like the Kangaroos, Maroons and Storm captain, Smith hopes to be holding a trophy aloft sometime this weekend to live out a childhood dream.

Rugby League's Smith will lead Australia into battle against England in Saturday night's World Cup final at Suncorp Stadium while his golfing counterpart is one of the legitimate contenders for the Australian PGA Championship which gets underway at Royal Pines on Thursday.

Smith finished fourth at the Australian Open in Sydney on Sunday despite taking "competition rust” into the national championship after a short lay-off at the end of his successful US tour campaign.

"I'm ready to go this week. The game felt good (in Sydney) and I'm really looking forward to this week at home,” Smith said.

Cameron Smith lines up a putt.
Cameron Smith lines up a putt. Lynne Sladky

"The PGA, ever since I was a kid, has always been in Queensland, so it's kind of like a home event for us Queenslanders.

"I remember going up to Coolum as a little kid and watching all the guys play up there.

"It's always been on my bucket list and now that I've ticked off playing it, I want to win one.

"I love playing at home, I love coming home to Australia. I guess just playing in front of family and friends that don't get to see me play that much now being over in the States, that's probably the main thing (I'm looking forward to).”

Smith won the Zurich Classic teams event on the rich US PGA tour in May alongside Swede Jonas Blixt who finished in a tie for second at the Australian Open and will tee it up again on the Gold Coast.

South Australian Wade Ormsby will also be at Royal Pines after claiming the European Tour's Hong Kong Open on Sunday.

Ormsby has form at the Gold Coast course after getting beaten in the marathon seven-hole 2014 Australian PGA playoff that included eventual winner Greg Chalmers and Adam Scott.

The PGA announced the nominees for Tuesday night’s Greg Norman Medal presentation at Royal Pines with Smith, Marc Leishman, Jason Day, Minjee Lee and Katherine Kirk all vying for the honour of Australia’s top golfer for 2017.

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