Cameron Smith in action at last year's Masters Tournament
Cameron Smith in action at last year's Masters Tournament Image Credit: Masters Tournament

Cameron Smith is back fighting fit and ready for a shot at winning the Green Jacket after recovering from a bout of food poisoning, which saw him withdraw from LIV Golf Miami.

The Australian has been one of the form players at the Masters Tournament over the last six years, boasting four top tens, including a runner-up finish in 2020, where he became the first player in history to shoot four sub-70 rounds in a single tournament.

After withdrawing from LIV Golf Miami last week, it looked like the 30-year-old was in danger of not being able to continue his purple patch at Augusta National, but he managed to sneak in a practice round with compatriot Min Woo Lee yesterday and revealed he is on the mend.

“Yeah, a bit of food poisoning at the start of last week and probably just tried to do a little bit too much and body just kind of shut down on me.,” said Smith, who was in the final group with Scottie Scheffler in 2023 before finishing tied third.

“Spent the weekend in the bed, which wasn't the greatest preparation, but I was just saying that today is probably the first day where I feel like I've got a little bit of energy. I'm sure I'll be pretty cooked tonight.

“At least I could get around and feel okay.”

After missing out on LIV Golf’s latest event, Smith has only played four tournament in 2023, with his best result coming in Hong Kong where he lost in a three-way play-off to Abraham Ancer.

Despite the limited preparation for the Masters Tournament, the 2021 Champion Golf of the Year insists his game is ready for another tilt at securing a Green Jacket after overcoming some swing issues at the beginning of the year.

“Game feels good,” he said.

“I was just saying to Gary, probably a few weeks there at the start of the year, trying to address some stuff in the swing and just felt a little bit uncomfortable and just hard to commit on some really tough driving courses, to be honest.

“It was good to play nice in Hong Kong and kind of know that it's still there. It was feeling nice last week just -- yeah.”

If he is to become just the seventh golfer to win a Green Jacket and The Open Championship at St Andrews then a fast start over the hallowed turf over Augusta National is a must.

In the last 20 years, only one player has won the tournament having finished outside the top ten after the opening round.

You guessed it, Tiger Woods.

The five-time Masters champion did so on two occasions, in 2005 he was three shots adrift of the top ten after the first round, while in 2019 the former World No.1 was just one shot adrift of the top ten after Thursday.

“I mean, you try and play well every round, obviously, but I think here more than most places if you get behind the 8-ball, you're pretty screwed pretty early,” said Smith, who has finished inside the top ten after the opening round on two occasions.

“It definitely doesn't make it any easier.

“I think the golf course is going to get harder and heard are as the week goes on, and you definitely want to be up at the top of the leaderboard when it starts to get firm and fast.”