Margaritas on ice as Smith makes Open cut

A flat and fatigued Cameron Smith has won a late reprieve, surviving the halfway cut at the Australian Open despite two lacklustre rounds.

CAMERON SMITH. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The beach and margaritas will have to wait after Cameron Smith dramatically survived the Australian Open halfway cut.

Smith looked headed for the Open exit gates after posting a second successive lacklustre one-over-par round on Melbourne's sandbelt.

The superstar world No.3 was languishing in a share of 82nd position when he walked off Kingston Heath on Friday morning, seemingly resigned to missing the cut.

"That was pretty rubbish out there today," he said after mixing four birdies with five bogeys.

"I was just really uncomfortable all day, kind of similar to yesterday. I just couldn't quite hit the ball out the middle of the club face for some reason.

"My mind was a little bit foggy, obviously a little bit tired as well.

"But I need to play better than that, even when I am tired. It's probably the easiest this place is going to get."

After an uncertain six-hour wait, Smith learnt he'd climbed the leaderboard sufficiently to earn a Saturday tee slot right on the two-over cut number.

But, sitting 10 shots adrift of co-leaders Adam Scott and David Micheluzzi, Smith still needs a minor miracle to complete the Australian PGA Championship-Open double.

His more immediate concern will be surviving the new Saturday second cut of top 30 players and ties, introduced this year to free up enough final-round fairway space for the women's event being staged simultaneously.

Before departing on Friday, Smith blamed mental fatigue for his ho-hum showing this week following a wildly successful but sapping 2022 campaign.

"I can't wait for sleep. I've played a lot more golf than I thought I would have at the start of the year," he said.

"I'm looking forward to four or five weeks off here and just kind of mentally reset.

"I think the brain has been going pretty hard the last few months so, yeah, it'd be good time to sit down on the beach somewhere and have a few margaritas."