Sometimes, new-age thinking needs to get knocked down a peg. Cameron Smith did that knocking this week at TPC Sawgrass en route to a one-stroke victory over Anirban Lahiri.
Smith ranked 68th out of 70 players to make the cut in Strokes Gained: Drive (-5.9), hitting only 43% of his fairways for the week. However, the 28-year-old Aussie more than made up for his failings off the tee with incredible play in every other facet.
Most notably, Smith led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (+11.5), was fifth in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (+6.7) and he ranked 19th in the field in Strokes Gained: Chip/Pitch (+1.4).
Smith’s putter was on fire all week, but especially in the final round where he one-putted 13 times and made 10 birdies. In the fourth round alone, Smith picked up +4.2 strokes on the field average on the greens.
“The putter felt good all day,” Smith said afterward in the understatement of the week.
Besides the $3.6 million that Smith doesn’t know what to do with, he moves to No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the highest ranking of his career.