Maiden PGA victory for Smith

NERVES OF STEEL: Australia’s Cameron Smith during the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana.
Picture: Getty Images

Australia’s Cameron Smith clinched his maiden PGA Tour title yesterday, rolling in a birdie putt on the fourth hole of sudden death to clinch victory with partner Jonas Blixt in the Zurich Classic.

Smith, 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.

The 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 said.

It 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.

“He’s 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 said.

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.

After Kisner and Brown hit tee shots onto the green but far from the pin on the third hole, the par-three ninth, 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.

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