If there were a golf award for Most Obstacles Overcome In Order to Record First PGA Tour Win, ex-Brisbane native Cameron Smith would be the recipient by unanimous decision.
He and his partner Jonas Blixt, leading going into the final round of the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana, first had to survive a blistering assault from their nearest pursuers, Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown.
In the final day of the unique two-player team format, one that has not been used in the PGA since 1981, the final round was a four-ball where the team took the best score on each to count toward the final outcome.
Brown and Kisner started off with birdies on eight of the first nine holes, seizing the lead from Smith and Blixt and seemingly poised on making it a rout.
Smith and Blixt, however, mounted a late charge on the back nine. Going into the final hole, they seemingly had the win secured, when Kisner chipped in for eagle from 95 feet away on the 18th hole.
Smith and Blixt have not one single bogey on their card for the entire week, yet Kisner’s miracle chip-in on the 18th as darkness fell threw the affair into a playoff scheduled for the next day.
It required four playoff holes for Smith and Blixt to earn the victory, and earn it they did indeed.
Smith and Blixt both earned just over $US 1 million for the win, 400 FedEx Cup points and most importantly for Smith, exemptions to some prestigious PGA events, including one of the four Majors, the PGA Championship near the end of the season.