MELBOURNE, Australia -- He may have been left in the locker room for the opening Presidents Cup pairings, but Australian Cameron Smith did not retreat from his comments about United States team member Patrick Reed.
Just an hour before Ernie Els and U.S. captain Tiger Woods took to the stage to announce the matches for Day 1 of the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, Smith said the "tension" between himself and Reed remained after the Australian said he had "no sympathy for anyone who cheats".
Smith, who alongside China's Haotong Li and American duo Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar will sit out Thursday's [AEDT] opening four-ball matches, was speaking in reference to Reed's two-stroke penalty for twice taking practice swings in a sandy waste area during the third round of Hero World Challenge last week.
After addressing Reed's actions at the Australian Open in Sydney, Smith said he had only shared a couple of passing glances with the American at Royal Melbourne and that whatever friendship the duo may have shared was likely now over.
"I'm sure he didn't like it, I think there is a little bit of tension there," Smith said Wednesday. "I've looked at Patrick a couple [of] times, but he hasn't looked back. I'm looking forward to the weekend."
Whether the duo face each other during any of the four-ball or foursomes matches on Friday or Saturday remains to be seen, but the parochial Australian fans will be frothing at the mouth should Smith and Reed be pitted against one another in a singles match come Sunday.
On the evidence of Smith's comments, that would certainly make for a frosty round of golf.
"I definitely won't go out of my way [to talk to him]," Smith said. "I think our friendship, I guess, is not quite there anymore. ... We share a physio out there. We would talk and chat in the locker room, but nothing much more than that. Just a friendly-type thing."
On a potential showdown with Reed, Smith added: "[Whatever] Ernie thinks is best I'm willing to do. I'm here to do a job for Ernie, and that's all I'm focusing on."
Meanwhile, Adam Scott said the Internationals' seven Presidents Cup debutants were just what his side required as they look to win the event for just the second time in its history.
At 39 years of age, Scott declared himself the "old man" of the team but said he had been relishing the energy his younger teammates had brought to Royal Melbourne.
"It's a bit of a changing time for the International team, I think. We're seeing nine countries represented. Very, very diverse," Scott said. "It just shows you the way, how global, it's all getting. But getting rid of old guys like me and bringing in some guys who are fresh is really important.
"That's been a big thing for me this week, is feeding off these guys who are so excited to be here. Their first one, they just can't wait. They've been watching their entire lives, aspiring to make the team,. It's very refreshing for a guy like me. And it [has] kind of had me pull my head in and get my stuff together the last few days."