Cameron Smith tees off at the third hole during the first round of the Dell Technologies Championship  at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts. Photo: Stew Milne/AP
Cameron Smith tees off at the third hole during the first round of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts. Photo: Stew Milne/AP

Aussie Cameron Smith eyes FedEx Cup millions

AUSTRALIAN Cameron Smith believes all the pressure is on the FedEx Cup heavyweights as he attempts to bag a near $US12 million ($A17 million) payday at this week's Tour Championship.

The 25-year-old has for the first time made the 30-man finale and will tee off on Friday at 3.20am (AEST) at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club, where the top five seeds in the standings can automatically claim the FedEx Cup with a Tour Championship victory.

Sitting 10th in the FedEx standings, courtesy of consecutive third-place results in the opening two playoffs events, Smith remains well within reach of winning the lot.

A FedEx Cup title for Smith would require him to win the Tour Championship and have a perfect storm of results from the top five seeds, starting with top-ranked Bryson DeChambeau finishing in a three-way tie for fourth or worse.

While Smith would secure a $US10 million bonus if he was to pull off the inconceivable and become the first Australian to win the title, he would also bank $US1.6 million for the tournament.

"It's been my main goal all year to make the Tour Championship and I'm in with half a chance (in the FedEx) as well, which is even better," Smith told AAP.

"Personally, I would actually love to be a top seed so you know a win here gives you the FedEx Cup.

"But there is definitely added pressure for them because they're teeing off knowing there's a lot on the line, whereas the rest of us need the chips to fall our way."

Smith takes confidence from knowing East Lake has produced winners who lack potent distance from the tee, including Jordan Spieth (2015), Billy Horschel (2014) and Brandt Snedeker (2012).

"It's definitely not a bomber's course - anyone can win here," Smith said.

"You just have to hit it straight because the rough is so thick and unpredictable and the greens are firm and fast."

Smith says he is happy just to have made the Tour Championship, whose benefits include guaranteed starts in all four majors the following year.

"That takes a lot off stress next year because you can pick and choose your events for the whole season and tailor it to peaking around the majors," Smith said.

Smith leads the Australians in the FedEx standings, followed by Jason Day in 12th place and Marc Leishman in 29th.

- AAP

News Corp Australia


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