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Smith to return to chase Australian Open golf title

Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS

Cameron Smith will return to defend his Australian PGA Championship title and also attempt to claim an elusive Australian Open crown, saying it's No.1 on his to-do list.

The 2022 British Open champion received a massive reception from Australian golf fans last year at Royal Queensland as he stormed to his third PGA victory.

He fell short of his quest for a maiden Australian Open title and a rare local double when he was eliminated in a contentious Saturday cut in the Melbourne sand-belt tournament a week later.

The Queensland star said he had marked the Open, which this year will be played at The Australian and The Lakes golf clubs in Sydney, as a title he was determined to win.

Back in 2016 Smith lost a play-off to American Jordan Spieth at Royal Sydney and a year later finished fourth behind Cam Davis at The Australian.

In a repeat from last year, the Open will be held as a dual-gender event at two courses, from November 30 to December 3.

"It's probably number one for things I want to win," Smith said from his US base.

"I've been close and I feel like it's been right there for me a bunch of times and I haven't really taken advantage of it.

"It's at a couple of really good golf courses this year - The Australian in particularly I feel really comfortable around that place.

"I've also played well around the Lakes but the Australian for me is somewhere where I think I can go out there and make a ton of birdies and hopefully win convincingly."

Smith said he was also looking forward to getting home to Brisbane for the PGA, which returns to Royal Queensland on November 23-26.

"It's a good place; I've been a member there now for probably almost 13 or 14 years ... it's definitely a place that's close to the heart," he said.

"And I do love the golf course - I"ve been around it a ton and I think particularly the way it played last year being firm and fast was really cool to see the golf course like that."

He may make an early cameo, saying if the Broncos make the NRL grand final he is "99 per cent" certain he will be there.

Joining the breakaway LIV Golf tour in 2022, Smith has been in superb form again this this year, with top-10 finishes in this year's majors and two LIV victories.

LIV golfers have been unable to accrue any rankings points since making the switch, which could impact the chances of many to play in next year's Paris Olympics.

Despite falling from a career-high No. 2 to No.11, as comfortably Australia's top-ranked golfer Smith should safely qualify as one of two male golfers selected.

But he felt for others and hoped the PGA could see reason around rankings.

"With the Olympics being next year I don't know how much longer I will be able to hold on to that spot so that's definitely something in my mind. So hopefully they can make it a bit easier for me, " said the 30-year-old, who finished 10th at the Tokyo Games.

"I know a lot of the other boys in LIV have slid pretty dramatically ... it's definitely something I'm thinking about for sure."