Cameron Smith can carry on drinking after his wildly successful 2022 season petered out to an anticlimactic conclusion in Melbourne.
Smith missed the Australian Open’s contentious second cut after failing to make up enough ground during a third-round one-under-par 69 at Victoria Golf Club on Saturday.
Despite carding his best round of the week, the world No.3 still wound up joint 47th with only the top 30 players and ties securing a Sunday tee slot.
Breaking with more than a century of Australian Open tradition, the double cut was introduced this year to free up enough fairway space for a final round featuring men and women for the first time.
The 2022 Australian Open is the first dual-gender national championship in the world.
But the radical innovation has come at the expense of the new Pied Piper of Australian fairways, with Smith easily the highest-profile casualty.
Not that he was overly upset.
As it was, Smith said he had to straighten up at the Moonee Valley races on Friday night after learning he had miraculously made the halfway cut after believing he’d missed it.
“I wasn’t really expecting it,” he said.
“I was pretty quick to the pub and I was probably a few too many beers deep and then realised we had an early tee time so I got back on the waters and was a good boy for the rest of the night.”
The 150th British Open champion made an early charge on Saturday, picking up two birdies on his outward nine to reach the turn at even par.
But a bogey on the par-4 third hole, his 12th of the day after starting on the 10th, proved the beginning of the end.
Despite hearty and vocal support from the big gallery following his every shot, Smith was unable to buy another birdie down the stretch.
“I thought I had it in me today and hit lots of good golf shots but couldn’t really capitalise,” he said.
“I hit good putts too but they weren’t going in. It just wasn’t my week.
“I thought it would take three or four under and the strategy didn’t change at all – just go out and play some really good golf and I thought I played solid enough.
“Just not enough putts went in.”
Despite falling short, Smith was looking forward to some well-earned fishing back home in Queensland and celebrating an incredible five-win year.
As well as his momentous triumph at St Andrews, the 29-year-old won the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, the Players Championship, LIV Chicago and last week’s Australian PGA.