Australian golf enthusiasts faced a startling disappointment at the Royal Queensland Golf Course when Cameron Smith, a two-time PGA Championship winner, failed to progress past the second round. The local hero, emotionally overwhelmed, termed his Friday performance as the worst in his professional career, marking a surprising exit from the tournament.
Smith, the 2022 British Open champion, entered Friday's round already lagging by ten strokes after a first-round score of 73. His struggle intensified during the second round, with a series of bogeys culminating in a seven-over-par 78.
His performance included six bogeys and a double bogey on the challenging 443m 10th hole, leading to a nine-over-par total, nine shots away from the cut line. Among the 156 players, Smith's position was notably below par, trailing 21 shots behind the leader.
An emotional Smith expressed his disappointment, acknowledging his fatigue but refusing to use it as an excuse for his underperformance. "It's not acceptable – it's very upsetting actually," said Smith, visibly moved.
When questioned about a similar past experience, he simply replied, "no."
Scott vs. Lee Showdown
Despite Smith's early departure, the Australian PGA Championship is bracing for an exciting clash between seasoned pro Adam Scott and young talent Min Woo Lee.
Scott, at 43, is a revered figure at Royal Queensland and enjoys immense popularity. Meanwhile, 25-year-old Lee, with his rising profile, promises a thrilling contest between the established and emerging forces in Australian golf.
Lee advanced with a remarkable second-round 66, reaching 12-under, slightly ahead of Scott, who recorded an impressive 65 on Friday. Both players are prepared for an intense competition, with Lee expressing hope for balanced crowd support and Scott focusing on maintaining pace with the expected high scores.
Scott, unfazed by the prospect of competing with his younger peer, emphasized the need for an aggressive approach to secure victory. "Someone is going to get close to 20-under," Scott noted, prepared for the challenging conditions ahead.