There doesn’t seem to be a lot of buzz surrounding the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year.
Some of that could be his exodus to LIV since he won the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews. He’s not on the forefront of the golf world both for the tour’s fledgling status, as well as his middling results on the 48-man circuit.
However, he’s the type of player who tends to put his best foot forward at the majors.
The Australian had five Top-10s and some close calls at the Masters before winning his first major at The Open.
The 29-year-old hasn’t had his best stuff at the majors in 2023, but he’s still made every cut and has two Top-10s. Smith took T-9th at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill and made a late climb up to solo fourth at the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.
Smith won his first LIV event in his last start a few weeks back in London. He posted 15-under over 54 holes to oust fellow countryman Marc Leishman and Patrick Reed by one.
It was his sixth straight Top-12 on LIV.
Smith will make his Royal Liverpool debut this week.
It sets up to be a good course fit for his game. If any club can get him in trouble, it’s driver. He isn’t planning on using the big stick often this week, but he’s more confident when the situation calls for it.
“The last couple of months I feel like I have really put the foot down, doing all the right stuff and started to straighten out the driver,” Smith was quoted in an article by The West Australian. “Watching some golf from Hoylake it doesn’t look like there is a lot of drivers anyway so that might play in to my hands a little bit.”
Smith is still No. 7 in the Official World Golf Ranking despite not accruing any points with his LIV performances. Data Golf, which does include LIV results in its world ranking, slots Smith at ninth.
He’s got one of the best short games in the world. Smith won’t be fearful of Hoylake’s pot bunkers or any other challenge thrown his way.