Star on the rise: Cameron Smith tees it up in his first major

If you haven’t heard of Cameron Smith yet, you soon will.

Ever since Adam Scott’s history-making victory at the 2013 Masters Tournament we’ve entered what some are calling a golden age of Australian golf. And it’s not just because of the great performances of the likes of Adam Scott, Jason Day, John Senden and Marc Leishman on golf’s biggest stages.

The positive vibe comes primarily from the great batch of young and extremely talented golfers coming through the ranks, most of them via the superbly managed Golf Australia High Performance Program. Of course many have flawless golf swings who flush the golf ball but they all seem to have the right attitude with a good head on their shoulders.

Leading the group of future stars of Australian golf is 21-year-old Cameron Smith who has already had a string of on-course success.

Not to be confused with his fellow Queenslander and name-sake at the Melbourne Storm, Smith has made a text-book rise in the professional ranks after a stellar amateur career that included a whopping eight-stroke victory at the Australian Boys’ Amateur in 2011 and a win at the Australian Amateur in 2013.

Turning professional in 2013, Smith promptly earned his Asian Tour card and put together seven top-10 finishes in his début season to finish a remarkable fifth on the overall Order of Merit.

But it was his solid 5th place finish at the co-sanctioned PGA Tour CIMB Classic in Malaysia that turned heads. It was the first time a player had finished top-10 in their first start on the PGA Tour since Chris Wood did it at the Open Championship in 2008.

The result earned the young Queenslander a number of starts on the PGA Tour and considering his recent arrival on the big stage, Smith looks right at home with giving a strong performance at the RBC Heritage in April where he finished in a tie for 15th place.

And now 21-year-old Smith is teeing it up in his first major, all within two years of turning professional.

Smith got a spot in the field at Chambers Bay this week after shooting 8-under par over 36-holes at US Open qualifying in Ohio and while any major golf tournament must be an exciting, daunting place to tee up the golf ball, don’t be surprised if Cameron Smith makes it look like he’s done it many times before.

Australian golf is in good hands and Cameron Smith is leading the way.

Cameron Smith tees off at the 2015 US Open at 7:00am Thursday, (midnight Australian EST) with American Troy Kelly and South Korean Seuk Hyun Baek. FoxSports is broadcasting the US Open into Australia this week.

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