AAP Golf

Smith ready for big year after Hawaii win

By AAP Newswire

Rising Australian star Cameron Smith says three "outlandish" goals he had set for the US PGA Tour this year feel within reach after his breakthrough Sony Open victory.

"I wanted to make the Australian team for the Olympics, to rise to top 20 on the world rankings and qualify for the Tour Championship at the end of the year," Smith told AAP at the Farmers Insurance Open in California.

"They were a little bit outlandish but now they're more realistic."

Smith's victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii two weeks ago certainly helped his chances of qualifying for the Olympics in July and moving into the world's top 20.

The Queenslander jumped more than 20 places to world No.31 and has since levelled at No.33.

Australia will likely send two golfers for the men's team at the Tokyo Olympics in July, based on world rankings.

Adam Scott (13th) and Marc Leishman (28) are the top Australians but Smith is breathing down their necks.

Smith admitted he "took his foot off the gas" after his first US PGA Tour victory at the 2017 Zurich Classic teams event but the Brisbane native says that will not happen again.

"No, it was very cool to win in Hawaii but I already feel back to normal and I'm pretty keen to kick on and make this a big season, particularly at the majors and hopefully the Olympics," he said.

The 26-year-old has improved his record at Torrey Pines in five prior visits, having struggled with its length early in his career.

Last year, the South course at Torrey Pines was the longest on the PGA Tour and has been lengthened 67 yards this year to measure 7765.

But Smith's share of ninth place at last year's event proved he can contend at the course that will host the US Open next year.

Other Australians in the field this week include two-time event winner Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones, Cameron Davis, Aaron Baddeley, Cameron Percy, John Senden and Rhein Gibson.