Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Golf champ swaps tee for key in Brisbane

Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner has handed the Keys to the City to local golfing champion, Cameron Smith, who will become the award’s 52nd known recipient.

Lord Mayor Schrinner said Cam was hugely deserving of Brisbane’s highest honour following his heroic victory at the 2022 British Open in front of record crowds.

“Cameron Smith is a local hero to golfers of all ages following his historic win at the British Open in July,” he said.

“His final round 64 at the famous St Andrews course had fans around the world on the edge of their seats and showed real nerves of steel.

“Cam joins a prestigious list of other local sporting greats to be awarded with Brisbane’s Keys to the City, including netballer Vicki Wilson, boxer Jeff Horn, rugby league legend Darren Lockyer, tennis great Pat Rafter and Olympic gold winner Steven Bradbury.”

(Photos: Josh Woning).

The Lord Mayor said Cam has remained a member of the highly-regarded Royal Queensland (RQ) golf course at Eagle Farm for the past 12 years while conquering the golfing world.

“It was right here at Royal Queensland that Cameron’s career took off and he turned pro,’ he said.

“This same golf course will also host the Olympic golf competition in 2032. To have a champion like Cameron call this course home is a real credit to Royal Queensland and will be part of the club’s legacy forever more.

“I’m sure Cameron’s win will have inspired the next generation of local golfing talent who now can now dream of representing Australia at home during the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

PGA of Australia Chief Executive, Gavin Kirkman said Brisbane was buzzing since Cameron touched down ahead of the Australian PGA Championship.

“It’s wonderful to have Cam back in his home city and his presence after three years has really created tremendous excitement around the tournament. We’re expecting big crowds this week,” he said.

“Receiving the Keys to the City is a fantastic tribute to Cam, who made his way through from a local Brisbane club and who has never forgotten where he comes from.

“He is a Brisbane boy all the way and I’m pleased for him that he’s been awarded something that he will remember forever.”

In addition to winning the oldest golf tournament in the world, The British Open, in July this year, Cam has also won the 2020 Sony Open and 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans and competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Back on home soil for the first time in three years for the Australian PGA Championship, Cameron Smith said it was an honour to receive the Keys to the City.

“This is a special moment for me as Brisbane is home, it’s where it all began and where my career took shape,” he said.

“I was just a boy with a big dream, and I hope that will inspire the next generation of local golfers to have a go.

“It’s been an unbelievable year and to be coming home to play in front of a hometown crowd and to receive this honour is the cherry on the cake.”

The Keys to the City are awarded to acknowledge the achievement or contribution of an individual or organisation in furthering the ideals of the city.

Dating back to medieval times when cities were enclosed by walls, the symbolic gesture can be performed to recognise outstanding achievement in sport, community, or humanitarian work by a Brisbane resident at an international or national level.

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