ELVIS SMYLIE Q. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Royal Queensland, to all the media who are assembled here and welcome to Elvis Smylie, our young Queensland Pro who’s about to make his debut in this sport and then Australian PGA Championship, and of course, we have the Fortinet Women’s Australian Championship as well, WPGA Championship. […]
Q. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Royal Queensland, to all the media who are assembled here and welcome to Elvis Smylie, our young Queensland Pro who’s about to make his debut in this sport and then Australian PGA Championship, and of course, we have the Fortinet Women’s Australian Championship as well, WPGA Championship. We’ll have some questions in a moment, I’ll just start off with Elvis.
Elvis, first time in this event are there any nerves at all?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, I think there’ll be a little bit of nerves. It will be exciting nerves on the first tee. I’ve played Royal Queensland quite a lot, so I’m quite familiar with the place and looking forward to getting the week underway with Clayts on the bag.
Q. Any success at Royal Queensland in the past, you would have played a lot of golf here?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, I think going back to 2020 I played the Australian Amateur here. I think I made the quarters and unfortunately went on to lose to Jed, who eventually won it, so it’s a little bit nicer to say that when you lose to the winner. But no, I love the course and can’t wait to start.
Q. Elvis, you mentioned Clayts, having him on the course tomorrow on your bag this Tournament, what does that do for you in terms of knowledge and working your way around the place?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, it means everything to be able to have a little bit of an inside scoop with the course’s own to be on your bag. This place is what you see is what you get around here and yeah, it’s very hard to be able to be flabbergasted when you’re off the tee. It’s very clear right in front of you, but around the greens it can get pretty tricky with all the undulation and slope, so being on the right side of the hole is quite important around here. But yeah, Clayts and I will have that down pat, so we’ll be fine.
Q. It’s a really strategic sort of a golf course and you come off playing the last event in Melbourne on a lot of strategic courses as well. Does that sort of give you a lot of confidence going into the week?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah it does, most certainly. Playing the Sandbelt Invitational where Clayts and Geoff, they both hosted that event and it was such a great first year for it. Going into Royal Queensland, it reminds me a little bit of Sandbelt Golf. I mean, obviously nothing similar to Sandbelt Golf when you’re away from Melbourne, but this is probably the closest thing you can get to it. It’s a little lengthy. There’s a couple of long holes in areas but yeah, just keep it straight, and knock it on the green, make some putts, keep it simple, it will be fine.
Q. Elvis, watching Cam Smith this morning, how inspirational is that for you to want to go out and do what he did?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, it’s very inspirational. I remember going back to 2019 where I spent a week with Cam over in Jacksonville. That was great to be able to get an insight of what life’s like on the PGA Tour and most importantly what I need to do in order for me to get to that level. That was a really good learning curve for me. I think I was 17 at the time. So I’ve had a couple of years since then to work on my game and find little holes that I might need to improve. I like to call them the 1 per cent stuff. It’s very inspiring. He’s such a legend of a guy. He’s such a down to earth guy. So to be able to see him win, it was great to see that for him and for Australian golf.
Q. Just further to that, to hold off the number 1 in the world, there’s a bit of ticker there, isn’t there, you need it in a bottle?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, I mean, to be able to shoot, I think Clayts told me it was 34-under for the week, I mean, that’s obscene, to be able to shoot that kind of scoring. It doesn’t matter what golf course you play, you still have to shoot that, so to be able to see that happen, yeah, it was ridiculous. I mean, he’s such a great bloke and yeah, I’m very happy for him.
Q. Elvis, how’s your back and what did you learn in Europe?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, going back to the middle of 2021 I played the NSW Open in late March and then I had about a month off and then I headed over in about June to Munich and played off a couple of sponsor exemptions on the European Tour and learnt a lot about my game there. Obviously, it was very unfortunate with what happened with my back. I had a minor dislodge in my lower right back, which was – I mean, to be honest, it was probably just a bit of overuse. It’s very hard going from Australia to Europe where your routines aren’t the same. I think that’s the number 1 thing I learnt, was you have to adapt and adjust as well as you can. Obviously going back over there in May after I play all these Australian events, I’ll have a very good understanding of what I need to do better and I’ll just know how to handle my business a little bit better. So, I’m grateful to have that experience.
Q. Have you done anything to try and recapture that form you had last year when you really burst onto the scene? Was there anything that was working there that maybe didn’t work in Europe or have you got back to or anything like that?
ELVIS SMYLIE: You know, it’s just keeping it simple. I mean, not getting in your own way, I’ve got such a great team behind me. Obviously, my coach, Ian Triggs, I’ve been with since I was about 8 years old and I’m still working with him and he’s great for me. Then yeah, I mean, it’s just keeping it simple, just staying out of my own way. I know what works well for me, I know what doesn’t. Obviously, I’m focusing more on what does work well for me, but when things don’t go well, I learn from them pretty quickly and I know how to make that not happen again.
Q. You just mentioned before about going back to Europe in May, what’s your outlook or target for the year in general, mate?
ELVIS SMYLIE: My main focus here is playing as well as I can here in Australia. The Australasian Tour I think has about 11 events in this four/five month period, so I’m looking forward to playing all those and doing as well as I can. Yeah, the goal is to do as well as I can on the Order of Merit. There’s a lot of opportunities up for grabs and I’m excited for that.
Q. This course is the Olympic Games course in 2032, I guess you’d like to be there?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, for sure, it would be a nice lead up for that this week, so hopefully I can – 2032 is a little bit of a time away, so I’m sure I’ll play a couple of times until then. But I’m looking forward to playing here as much as I can and yeah, when the Games do play in 2032, I’ll be ready for that.
Q. Elvis, I just wanted to ask you one last one about staying and living with Cameron Smith for a little while. I remember Cameron told me that Louis Dobbelaar didn’t eat his vegetables very well. Did he take you out fishing? What was he like to live with?
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, well I mean, going back to 2019, it was Hurricane Doreen in September, so we were actually in lockdown for about three days of that week that we spent, so we actually went down to the Concession, where they had the WGC event there that Morikawa won this year, so we didn’t do much fishing, but just a lot of chit-chat. I mean, when we were away from the golf course, we rarely chatted about golf, which I actually enjoy. It was a bit of a flick of the switch I like to call it. But yeah, he’s such a great guy and to be able to just be surrounded by him and learn as much as I can, it was awesome.
Q. And Elvis takes a dollar for every time a reporter at a press conference asks him about his Christian name, so he’s missed out today.
ELVIS SMYLIE: Yeah, very lucky.
Q. I made that mistake in an interview once.
Q. Thanks very much for that. Thank you Elvis.