Queenslander Cameron Smith and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt both finished inside of the top-5 at last week’s Emirates Australian Open and are full of confidence ahead of the Australian PGA Championship.
The pair took out the Zurich Classic of New Orleans earlier this year on the PGA TOUR, helping Smith to his first victory on the premier Tour while it was Blixt’s third.
Blixt has been the beneficiary of Smith’s local knowledge of the Sunshine State before arriving at RACV Royal Pines Resort today.
“We flew in last night and I spent the night at Cameron's house. Took it quite easy this morning,” Blixt said.
“He showed me a little bit around Brisbane, his favourite coffee places and kind of where he grew up this morning. It was really nice. Then we drove down here and now get to experience the Gold Coast.”
The pair can be afforded an easy morning after encouraging results in last week’s Australian Open, Blixt in particular, who finished joint runner-up alongside Australian Matt Jones.
By doing so, he has sealed a spot in The 147th Open Championship courtesy of his top-3 finish.
He said he’s not feeling the pressure of being one of the headline players in the strong field after a solid performance at The Australian.
“I feel quite relaxed. I have friends around and coming in playing pretty good, so I'm really looking forward to this week.
“Winning with Cam kind of opened my schedule up quite a bit, and always wanted to come down here. I felt like this is one of my favourite places, so it's quite an easy decision to make.”
Smith too had a strong performance last week finishing outright fourth, he’s enjoying a rich run of form with a top-5 finish in the CIMB Classic and a third in the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges.
He said he’s looking forward to riding the wave and taking advantage of a hometown crowd this week.
“When you're playing well, it's definitely good for me to just keep going until I run out of steam basically,” Smith said.
“I've been playing well the last couple months and had a few weeks off there just before the Australian Open, but got the competition rust out of my body and I'm ready to go this week.”
Smith said he’d be happy to be paired up with Blixt early in the tournament with the pair clearly enjoying chemistry on the course.
“I think he felt obliged to come down since I won the tournament for him,” Smith joked.
“It was basically on his mind the whole year (to come to Australia), and then when we won the tournament there at Zurich, I think that just made his mind up.
“I hope we play together, we always have fun. We've played together at home in Jacksonville a bunch of times, and then obviously Zurich as well, so we bond well and we like to just chat and just walk around.
“Jonas and I have always had a pretty competitive relationship, whether it be at home or during practices.”
General admission to the Australian PGA Championship is $25* when purchased at the gate or via Ticketmaster with children, 16 and under, granted free admission when attending with a paying adult.
Since Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman were announced to play the Australian PGA Championship, Saturday and Sunday tickets to the Lexus Marquee on the Soniq Million Dollar Hole and the Kirkwood Club have sold out. Fans who want to join in the festival atmosphere are encouraged to book tickets from Thursday to Friday quickly due to unprecedented demand.
Limited corporate hospitality options are still available, please visit pgachampionship.com.au.
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