Miami - Australia's Cameron Smith clinched his maiden PGA Tour title on
Monday, rolling in a birdie putt on the fourth hole of sudden death to
clinch victory with partner Jonas Blixt in the Zurich Classic.
who had earlier missed a birdie putt to win on the opening playoff
hole, made no mistake at the second opportunity to seal a win over Kevin
Kisner and Scott Brown at the TPC Louisiana in New Orleans.
Brisbane-born Smith, who earned a PGA Tour exemption through to 2019
with the victory, was lost for words immediately after his triumph.
"I can't even talk," Smith told a television reporter on the green, his eyes brimming with tears.
was left to partner Blixt to pay tribute to the 23-year-old, who
signalled his promise with a fourth-place finish at the 2015 US Open
after reaching the event through qualifying.
"I feel like I had the best partner here," Blixt said of Smith.
been playing great all week. He's going to be a superstar one day. I'm
very proud of him. Having seen the way he plays golf, the sky's the
limit for him," Blixt added.
The playoff had gone to a fourth
hole after players on both sides fluffed chances to win on the opening
three holes of sudden death.
Kisner and Brown both squandered
birdie putts on the 18th to open with a pair of pars, leaving Smith with
his first opportunity to roll in a birdie putt for the win.
But the Australian's nerves got the better of him and he sent his shot just wide, grazing the lip of the cup on the way.
It was Kisner's turn to miss a birdie putt to win on the second hole of sudden death, again on the 18th.
sent the group to a third hole, the par-three ninth. After Kisner and
Brown hit tee shots onto the green but far from the pin, Blixt seemed to
have seized control with a superb five-iron which rolled up six feet
short of the flag.
But once again with victory begging, nerves
struck again, the Swede's putt trickling past to send it back to the
18th for the fourth playoff hole and Smith's chance for redemption.
and Brown had forced the playoff after a sensational finale to Sunday's
fourth round which saw Kisner hole out for an eagle in near-darkness on
the 18th to deprive Smith and Blixt of the win.