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By : BGA Proshop
In what could only be described as another incredible finish on the PGA Tour after Justin Thomas won in a 3 hole playoff last week, Australian Cameron Smith claimed his first individual PGA Tour win beating Brendan Steele on the first playoff hole.
It was a drizzly final day at the Sony Open in Hawaii where overnight leader Steele took a 2 shot lead into the final round. Not much happened through the front night as solid golf was being played but no one really making a charge or falling off.
After nine holes, Smith was still 2 shots back from Steele and knew he needed to get a move on if he was going to challenge Steele for his first individual PGA Tour victory.
On the 11th hole, Steele plugged his ball on the face of the bunker at the front of the green and instead of struggling to make par, Steele holes out and takes a 3 shot lead.
The very next hole Smith responses with this own birdie on the 12th to cut the lead back to 2 shots and on the 13th a poor 3 putt from Steele cuts the lead to one.
Smith gave one back to Steele on the 15th with a bogey and it seemed that all hopes were lost as he was 2 behind with 2 holes play.
This is when the tournament got turned on its head.
On the par 3 17th hole Steele hits his tee shot over the green and fails to get up and down. Smith hits the green in regulation and two putts to cut the lead back to one with one hole to play.
Due to the groups in front and a lost ball, both players had to wait on the tee for close to 15 mins on the par 5 18th. When ready to go both players found the fairway in reach of knocking it on in two.
Another delay on the fairway saw both players wait again on their second shot and the nerves were starting to show. Smith was first to go and with driving iron in hand hits his approach short left in the bunker. Steele was next and knew all he needed to do was put it on the green and two putts making Smith have to hole his bunker shot. Instead with driving iron in hand as well, he hooks it hard left, hits the marquee and bounces over to the next fairway.
He then catches a lucky break and is able to come around and drop it in between the 2 marquees which give him a line of sight to the hole. Still knowing if he can get up and down it will make it challenging for Smith he hits it to the middle of the green, meanwhile, Smith is watching this all play out.
Smith then calming hits his bunker shot to 8 feet and gets a perfect read from Steele’s birdie putt. Steele then lags it to the hole and Smith knows he has to make the putt and birdie to get into a playoff which he does.
On the first playoff, Smith blocks his drive to the right but catches another lucky break and just finds the ball on the right rough with a shot to the hole. Steele finds the fairway with 3 wood but then airmails his approach over the green. Smith hits his second to 10 feet and the pressure is back on Steele who then chips his ball to 15 feet and missed his par.
All Smith needed to do now was to 2 putt from 10 feet to claim his first individual PGA Tour victory which he did.
It was an awesome weekend for Aussies across the globe as Wayne Ormsby went wire to wire to claim the Hong Kong Open.