Cameron Smith, the young Aussie golfing sensation from Brisbane who has won on the PGA Tour, The European Tour and most recently captured the Australian PGA Championship, would like to play in The Masters for the second time in 2018, but in order to do so, he must find a way to move from his current rank of 58th into the top 50, in order to get into Augusta via that route.
It appears that he will make four starts on the PGA Tour before The Masters.
“(The Masters) is the goal and until I get in there, I’ve just got to keep working hard and have to try make something of it. I’ve only got a few months,” Smith said.
He is playing this weekend at the TPC in Arizona, followed by the LA Open, where he could earn a start in the World Golf Championships in Mexico. A start there could make his route to Augusta much smoother.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC-Matchplay are possibilities for Smith. Moving eight spots in the rankings is easy when you are talking about moving from 431st to 428th, but when you are trying to move from 58th to 50th, that is a decidedly more difficult proposition.
From a distance, barring an outright win, Smith will need a couple of top-ten finishes and some poor showings by some of the others who are just as hungry and motivated for a spot in the season’s first Major.
Some concept of the level of the competition lies in this statistic.
Smith has finished in the top-20 over his past PGA events, only to drop two spots, from 56th to 58th. It was as recently as early January that Smith was 56th. Over that three-tournament span, Smith was an aggregate 23 under par.
Smith could also get into The Masters with a win in the Houston Open, the last regular PGA Tour stop before The Masters.