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Smith still dreaming of charge to Masters glory

Darren WaltonAAP
Cameron Smith remains firmly focused on making a late charge for the Masters at Augusta National. (EPA PHOTO)
Camera IconCameron Smith remains firmly focused on making a late charge for the Masters at Augusta National. (EPA PHOTO) Credit: EPA

Cameron Smith hopes his putter runs hot as he plots a St Andrews-style Sunday charge to steal the Masters green jacket.

Two years after storming home from four shots back to run down Rory McIlroy and win the British Open's Claret Jug with a final-round 64, Smith faces a similarly tall order to reel in world No.1 Scottie Scheffler at Augusta National.

Australia's one-time world No.2 will start the final round six strokes behind Scheffler after enduring a frustrating even-par 72 on Saturday when he couldn't buy a putt.

Smith had to settle for 14 consecutive pars between his solitary birdie on the third and lone bogey at the last, despite having great looks at further birdies on the second, eighth, ninth, 10th, 13th, 15th and 17th holes.

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"I don't think I hit a bad putt, I just couldn't get the ball in the hole. It's just one of those days," Smith said.

"There were so many times out there where five or 10 foot is as close as you can hit it and it's breaking a foot or two down the hill. I couldn't quite match up the speed and the line.

"It could have been probably a lot better today."

Smith struck the ball beautifully, finding 11 of 14 fairways and hitting 12 of 18 greens in regulation.

But his unco-operative putter left the 30-year-old needing to conjure something special on Sunday (Monday AEST).

And he knows losing his head and trying to recklessly attack Augusta's outrageously fast and firm greens isn't the answer.

"If you start playing the golf course that way, I have seen where that heads. I've been down that road before," he said.

"I'd like to think I'm a pretty smart golfer. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing, hitting it to 15, 20 feet, and hopefully they go in tomorrow.

"I'm still in the golf tournament. The way that the golf course is playing, I feel really confident with my ball striking; probably the best I've felt in a while.

"It only takes one or two (dropped shots) the leaders' way and one or two (birdies) my way and it's really close."

Smith is bidding to join golfing royalty as the seventh man to win the Open at St Andrews and a Masters title.

Only Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Seve Ballesteros and Zach Johnson have accomplished the golden double.

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