Cameron Smith methodically played his first 12 holes Saturday with only pars to show for it. Then, the Australian found success in the third round of the Masters Tournament.
Smith birdied Nos. 13, 14, and 15 to post a 3-under-par 69, and enters the final round tied for second with Abraham Ancer and Sungjae Im. Smith, at 12-under par, will tee off at 9:18 a.m. with Dylan Frittelli and Justin Thomas.
“I mean, it’s what we dream about, really,” Smith said of his opportunity. “This is why we want to play.”
Smith trails Dustin Johnson by four shots, but understands that Sunday at Augusta National has a history of becoming a nightmare for the world’s No. 1 player. Smith was 2 years old when Greg Norman, a fellow Aussie, collapsed on Sunday in 1996. Smith’s father, Des, was so distraught that he stayed home the following day.
“My old man still talks about it now,” Smith said. “He missed a day of work because of Greggy, but it happens.”
As for the idea that Johnson’s fate could resemble Norman’s, Smith said, “Anyone with a four-shot lead is expected to win. You know, there’s going to be plenty of boys firing tomorrow.”
Smith is competing in his fourth Masters Tournament, with his best finish being a tie for fifth in 2018. The 27-year-old has posted rounds of 67-68-69 and is vying to become the first Masters competitor to shoot all four rounds in the 60s.
When asked if he ever watched a replay of 1996, Smith gently shook his head.
“No,” he said. “No.”