British Open champion Cam Smith has capped off a stellar 2022 by winning the Greg Norman Medal for the second time in three years.
The 29-year-old Queenslander, who is ranked third in the world, was presented the medal – awarded to Australia’s best male or female tour professional on the international stage – at Tuesday night’s PGA Awards at Brisbane City Hall.
Smith claimed the medal from a host of stars, including 2021 winner Minjee Lee, whose 2022 campaign included victory at the women’s US Open.
Apart from his win in the 150th British Open in July at St Andrews, Smith shot a PGA Tour record of 34-under to win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January, and was also victorious at The Players Championship in March.
Smith also won LIV Golf’s Chicago Invitational following his August switch to Norman’s Saudi-backed tour.
“I guess this year’s been incredible,” said Smith, who is preparing for this week’s Australian PGA at Royal Queensland.
“(I) made a really big effort to get in the gym and do all those little one percenters that was going to make me a better golfer and to come out at the start of the year in Hawaii and do what I did there .. .then it seems like the year’s got better and better.
“I’m really excited about what I can keep doing. I really want to keep pushing myself and really want to keep making myself a better golfer.”
PGA of Australia chief executive Gavin Kirkman said Smith’s success was part of an impressive year for Australian golf.
“We’re very proud of Cam as someone who is homegrown, authentic and incredibly skilful at what he does,” Kirkman said.
“It must have been a really difficult decision for this medal in 2022 because we also had Minjee Lee winning the US Women’s Open – the biggest tournament in women’s golf.
“But Cam’s year was absolutely incredible. It’s fair to say that by performing on the biggest stages in world golf, he and other players like Minjee Lee have given golf in this country an incredible shot in the arm.”
Smith’s coach Grant Field, also the director of coaching at Pelican Waters, was named PGA national coach of the year (high performance) for the second time in a row.
PGA award winners:
Greg Norman Medal: Cameron Smith
PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year: Dimitrios Papadatos
PGA Legends Tour Player of the Year: Andre Stolz
WPGA Tour Player of the Year: Hannah Green
PGA of Australia National Coach of the Year – High Performance: Grant Field