Cameron Smith doesn’t understand player complaints

Cameron Smith can’t understand player reservations about competing at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, saying he’s itching for the chance to represent his country. The Summer Games are struggling to attract a star-studded field for the men’s 72-hole event, with many big names — including Australia’s Adam Scott and world No.1 Dustin Johnson — ruling themselves out for selection. Spanish world No.3 Jon Rahm is committed to the Games, but said this week that he fully understands why many of his PGA Tour colleagues aren’t. Top-ranked Australian Smith, however, doesn’t.Watch the PGA Championship LIVE & exclusive in HD on Fox Sports with Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >“No, I’m not having any problems (with going to Tokyo),” Smith told from his Jacksonville home. “I think it’s really not that hard.” Speaking of why some players are opting out, he added: “Maybe where it is in the PGA Tour season, if you’re struggling for your Tour card and your job, I think (staying) can maybe be more important than representing your country. “But I don’t really see why guys wouldn’t be jumping at the opportunity. I’m sure it’s a great event and I really can’t wait to be over there.”Each nation can field up to four players across the men’s and women’s individual stroke play events, won at Rio 2016 by Justin Rose and Inbee Park respectively.Smith said he desperately wanted to be a part of Australia’s last team, which fielded Scott Hend and Marcus Fraser in the men’s event.Four years older and wiser, 27-year-old Smith has since broken out as the nation’s leading male golfer, who is in career-best form after his joint second-place finish at the delayed 2020 Masters. He is ranked fifth in this season’s FedEx Cup standings with one win — at last month’s Zurich Classic — and six top-10 finishes to his name.Subsequently, he is comfortably heading towards qualification for Tokyo at No.13 on the Olympic Golf Rankings, while Marc Leishman (No.18) is the next available Australian on the list with no other men’s player from the nation inside the top 60. Having partnered Leishman on the way to winning the Zurich Classic, Smith hopes the pair can lead the way for Australia once more. “It would be awesome to have Leish over there,” Smith told “We had a good week a few weeks ago, and hopefully it’s much more of the same over there.” He added: “Obviously I wasn’t a part of the last team, I would have loved to have been there.“But every chance I get to put on the green and gold I’m going to snap at it and try my best.“I really can’t wait to get over there. I know it’s going to be a bit of a different Olympics but, still we can be there and be around different athletes and watch a few things. It’ll be really cool.” McIlroy wins his 19th career title | 01:06Smith’s attitude towards the Games is a refreshing one as a number of players signalled their intentions to not take up spots on their national teams. Scott opted out last month, choosing to spend time with his family — who would not be allowed to attend — while Johnson withdrew in March, citing a “big stretch of golf” which includes The Open Championship in England one week before the Olympics’ start.“I can understand why a lot of people are prioritising the FedEx Cup events and great golf events,” Rahm said.“The Olympics are relatively new for the golf, and I don’t blame them.”Rahm said it was his understanding that players wouldn’t be allowed to attend other Olympic events, or see the course — which is a lengthy drive from the Olympic Village — until the day before competing. Speaking of his own view, however, he said: “Yeah, I want to play. “They’re not making it very easy, but I do want to play.”

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