Cameron Smith justified our faith in him as the new hope of Australian professional golf by finished the 2018 Masters with a flourish.

Smith concluded the tournament in a tie for fifth place, which gets him back into the Masters next year, but the more important aspect was the way he rose to do what must be done, which was to go low in the final round. He may have missed the opportunity for the win with his first three rounds and it is certain he will be going over the “what could have been” scenarios, something which all golfers experience, for some time, but the important factor in this instance is that he was not a shrinking violet, but went out for the final round with the sort of go-for-broke attitude that gives clear indications that he should be a factor for years to come.

The rules of the Masters Selection committee dictate that any player who finishes inside the top 12 will be invited to return next year.

Smith ultimately finished six shots behind winner Patrick Reed and Smith was 12 shots back at the start of the fourth round. Smith must have realized what was on the line as he continues to establish his credentials to play on the PGA Tour. He did not go out simply to play an enjoyable round of golf; he went out to prove that he belongs amongst the top players.

He nearly set a new record for scoring on the back nine with six birdies. He needed only to make an eight-footer on the final hole to grab the honour of most birdies on the back nine on the final day.

Had Smith made that final birdie on 18, he would have joined mark Calcavecchia from 1992 and David Toms from 1998 as one of three to record a 29 on the homeward leg of Augusta National.

There won’t be any stress leading into next year, will there?” a relieved Smith said after his round. He made it in this year by the narrow margin of climbing into the top 50 of the world rankings with just a couple of weeks to spare.

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