Austin Smotherman practiced for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last week by playing as a guest member. Arjun Atwal participated in the weekly Friday game at his club. Although it may not be the most common way to prepare for a PGA Tour event, there is no denying their results. Smotherman shot a career low 9-under-62 on a day when winds from the Atlantic Ocean were blowing and scoring conditions were perfect. Atwal posted an 8-under-63 at Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, Bermuda.
Smotherman said, “We were blessed today with a beautiful island day.”
The second-year pro, aged 28, played in the morning’s second group and enjoyed the soft greens. He only needed 23 putts, and the longest he made was 13 feet on Thursday. He played last week as a member-guest at Trinity Forest in Dallas, where he was formerly a host for the AT&T Byron Nelson PGA Tour.
Smotherman said, “Shout out for The Crony,” about the member-guest tourney. We had our greens rolling at 13 and it was blowing 25, 30, all weekend. It was almost like I was coming here to get these conditions. I thought, “Come on, where’s wind?” It was almost like we were practicing that.
Smotherman, who is working hard to improve his wedge game, stated that his ball-triking skills with his short irons were well-tuned. This is the area of his game that has been holding him back.
He explained, “How can we find three shots in a tournament? It’s these wedges.” “I was missing these wedges on the short-side.”
Smotherman made headlines last year when he double-bogeyed the final hole of Wyndham Championship. He missed the cut and lost his Tour card. He was granted a reprieve after several players switched to LIV Golf. This allowed him to be fully-exempt for this season. What was it like to see his career fall?
He said, “Good, let us go better tomorrow, why not?” “We’ve still got room.”
Butterfield Bermuda: Full leaderboard