AVONDALE, La. (AP) — Cameron Smith’s aggressiveness on the TPC Louisiana’s water-lined 16th gap appeared to doom his team’s chances of winning the Zurich Classic when his 294-yard pressure bounced off an embankment near the green and into the water.
Smith’s teammate, fellow Australian Marc Leishman, then flipped the script with a deft chip.
Leishman made birdie after a penalty descend in the rough, about 23 feet from the pin, pulling him and Smith into a tie with the South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel that wasn’t broken unless the Aussies won the primary playoff gap Sunday.
″(Smith) hit a really suitable shot. It was the legal membership and the legal shot, accurate drifted a microscopic in the wind,” Leishman said. “I was accurate concentrating on my game and I was lucky adequate to be on the up slope.
“It wasn’t the hardest chip in the arena, but beneath the conditions, smartly, I won’t say it was a have to-make, but it was certainly very beneficial that it went in.”
Smith and Leishman ended it with a par on their 2d day lunge up the par-5 18th after Oosthuizen pushed his tee shot into the water and narrowly overlooked an 11-foot putt for par.
“Disappointed, but I felt we played smartly, gave ourselves loads of opportunities,” said Oosthuizen, who was seeking his first win since the 2010 British Launch. “We have a 2d. I really feel next time we’ll arrive back and glean the primary. However so a disappointing way to finish love that. … It may probably have long gone any way, the way we played in regulation.”
The Australians pressured the playoff by shooting a 2-beneath 70 in alternate-shot play at the PGA Tour’s lone regular-season team match for a four-round 268. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel began the round with a one-stroke lead, but shot a 71 with three pars and two bogeys.
“It was really distinguished,” said Smith, whose outdated victory came at the Sony Launch in Hawaii in 2020. “That back nine was brutal, but we hung in there.”
It’s Smith’s third career victory and 2d at the Zurich, which he won with Jonas Blixt in 2017, the primary year Contemporary Orleans’ PGA Tour discontinue switched from a traditional individual format to an match featuring 80 two-man teams. That first victory also came in a playoff.
“I guess I’m suitable at picking suitable partners,” Smith said. “We had such a suitable week on and off the golf path.”
It was Smith’s handiest end result since tying for 2d at the pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters last November. It’s also was his sixth top 10 since the latest tour season started.
It was Leishman’s sixth career victory, his handiest end result since tying for fifth at the Masters this month and his first win since the 2020 Farmers Insurance Launch.
The climactic finish capped off a compelling duel between two teams that teed off together in the final grouping and took turns holding leads that by no means grew to extra than two strokes.
Smith made birdie putts of 9 feet on the par-5 seventh and 7 feet on the par-3 ninth to pull his team even atop the leaderboard. The Aussies went in front on 10, when Schwartzel’s approach landed in the bunker and his team two-putted for bogey.
Smith and Leishman took a two-shot lead on the par-5 11th, where Leishman drove 307 yards into the fairway and Smith sent the team’s 2d shot 265 yards to the green, setting up a birdie.
However they gave a stroke back on 13 when Leishman’s pressure went into the TPC Louisiana’s trademark, towering traditional-thunder cypress three that stands alone love a monolith in the fairway. That pressured the team to take a descend that resulted in a bogey.
The South Africans moved back into the lead on 15, where Schwartzel adopted up Oosthuizen’s 205-yard approach shot with a nearly 15-foot putt for birdie, while Smith, whose approach had fallen in need of the green, narrowly overlooked a 13-foot putt for par.
“However in this game, we have been around long adequate to understand it’s no longer over unless it’s over at the finish,” Schwartzel said. “It was a curler coaster of emotions, although.”
After the eventful 16th left both teams at 21 beneath, they each bogeyed the par-3 17th and parred the par-5 18th to finish regulation at 20 beneath.
Peter Uihlein and Richy Werenski shot a 67, with six birdies and one bogey, to shoot up the leaderboard from 18th to third.
Billy Horschel and frail LSU player Sam Burns shot a 69 to tie for fourth with Brandt Snedeker-Keith Mitchell and Brendan Steele-Kegan Bradley.
Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm, the defending champions from 2019, closed with a 70 to finish seventh at 17 beneath.
Smith and Leishman each earned $1.07 million for the victory — a end result that also pressured Smith to address a promise he’d made to slash his mullet hair fashion when he won a tournament.
“I’d have to apologize to my lady friend; it’s no longer going away,” Smith said. “I really feel find it irresistible’s part of me now.”
Leishman affirmed Smith’s decision, noting that Smith “has purchased a cult following now” because of his hair.
“You may aloof hear the fans out there,” Leishman said. “They’re all over it. It’s awesome.”
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