Cam Smith’s best WGC finish despite late stumble: Aussies on Tour

Cameron Smith

An all-or-nothing approach on the 72nd hole backfired for Cameron Smith but the Queenslander remained upbeat after finishing tied for fifth at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind in Tennessee, his best finish in a WGC event.

In a week highlighted by a round of 62 on Friday that required just 18 putts to equal the PGA TOUR record, Smith stood on the 18th tee on Sunday in the hunt to claim the biggest win of his career.

Needing a par on the last to post 16-under and potentially join the playoff ultimately won by Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, Smith hit his tee shot into the trees right of the fairway.

Eschewing the conservative approach, Smith struck a tree with his second shot, the ball careening out of bounds as he closed with a double bogey and final round of 2-over 72.

“I wanted to win,” Smith explained, who was tied with Harris English at 16-under at the time.

“I didn’t want to chip it out and leave my chances in Harry’s hands. He was still 16-under at the time.

“I wanted to make sure I had a good look at birdie and I just didn’t execute it.

“There was a little gap up there. I had to hit like a medium flight draw and I tried to hit it. I just hit it too far right. The actual flight of it was good, it just hit the tree there on the right.”

Identifying the driver as an area of focus leading into the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Smith said his first priority after a whirlwind few weeks at The Open and the Olympics is to get a fishing rod back in his hand.

“We’ve been pretty busy lately and it’s been hot as well, so it takes it out of you, especially being in contention as well, mentally draining,” said Smith, whose 93 putts for the week was just one shy of the PGA TOUR record set by David Frost at the 2005 RBC Heritage.

“Nice week off on the boat, I’ll be happy.

“I was really disappointed with how I hit my driver on the weekend. A week at home working on the driver, especially for the Playoffs, I think three tough driving courses, I need to get that in shape.”

Smith was far and away the best of the Aussies in Memphis, Adam Scott closing with a 4-under 68 to share 36th position along with Victorians Lucas Herbert (69) and Marc Leishman (73).

Sydney’s Stephanie Kyriacou moved to second on the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit courtesy of her fourth-place finish at the Aramco Team Series – Sotogrande in Spain.

With American Alison Lee racing away with a five-stroke win at the top of the leaderboard, Kyriacou closed with an even-par 72 to improve her position in the Race to Costa Del Sol points race.

In Utah, a run of five birdies in the space of six holes at the Utah Championship has put New South Welshman Brett Drewitt within reach of a return to the PGA TOUR next season.

Starting the day tied for 23rd, Drewitt was losing ground to the field as he made 11 straight pars to start his final round but a regulation birdie at the par-4 12th was followed by four on the trot from the 14th hole to end the week tied for 21st.

As a result, Drewitt moved up one place to 22nd on the Korn Ferry Tour order of merit, the top 25 after next week’s Pinnacle Bank Championship to earn promotion to the PGA TOUR next season.
 
Results
 
World Golf Championships
FedEx St Jude Invitational
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee
Winner   Abraham Ancer                   67-62-67-68—264            $US1.82m          
T5          Cameron Smith                 67-62-65-72—266            $380,667
T36        Adam Scott                        74-66-70-68—278            $59,000
T36        Lucas Herbert                    69-70-70-69—278            $59,000
T36        Marc Leishman                  65-71-69-73—278            $59,000
T43        Brad Kennedy                    67-70-70-72—279            $53,000
T51        Matt Jones                         69-68-74-70—281            $45,000
T51        Wade Ormsby                    69-71-68-73—281            $45,000
60          Cam Davis                          68-72-73-72—285            $38,000
62          Min Woo Lee                      67-75-74-72—288            $37,000
 
PGA TOUR
Barracuda Championship
Tahoe Mountain Club (Old Greenwood Cse), Truckee, California
Winner   Erik van Rooyen                  7-17-10-16—50                $US630,000
T23        Aaron Baddeley                  3-10-11-6—30                   $32,375
T34        Greg Chalmers                   9-6-12-0—27                     $18,235
T64        Cameron Percy                  5-13-(-1)-0—17                 $7,560
T66        Rhein Gibson                      6-4-2-3—15                       $7,385
MC         John Senden                      2-4—6
 
European Tour
Hero Open
Fairmont St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Winner  Grant Forrest                        68-68-62-66—264            €189,530
T23        Daniel Hillier                       69-70-67-69—275            €12,533
T34        Ryan Fox                            74-69-69-67—279            €9,067
T56        Scott Hend                          72-69-71-71—283            €4,327
T70        Jake McLeod                      75-67-72-72—286            €3,162
T72        Austin Bautista                   72-70-74-73—289            €2,660
MC         Deyen Lawson                    78-71—149
MC         Josh Geary                         76-75—151
MC         Dimitrios Papadatos          72-79—151
 
Korn Ferry Tour
Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
Oakridge Country Club, Farmington, Utah
Winner  Joshua Creel                        63-68-65-64—260            $US108,000
T5          Steven Alker                       64-68-69-63—264             $20,900
T21        Brett Drewitt                        69-67-66-66—268            $6,336
T55        Curtis Luck                          74-62-67-70—273            $2,508
T58        Ryan Ruffels                        68-68-67-71—274            $2,436
MC         Harrison Endycott              70-68—138
MC         Jamie Arnold                       69-69—138
MC         Nick Voke                            70-72—142
MC         Brett Coletta                        71-73—144
 
Challenge Tour
Vierumäki Finnish Challenge
Vierumäki Resort, Vierumäki, Finland
Winner   Marcus Helligkilde                61-67-66-71—265            €32,000
MC         Bryden Macpherson           72-72—144
 
Ladies European Tour
Aramco Team Series – Sotogrande
La Reserva Club De Sotogrande, Spain
Winner  Alison Lee                             65-65-71—201                  €25,341
4            Stephanie Kyriacou            67-71-72—210                  €7,602
MC         Victoria Fricot                     82-79-75—236
 
LET Access Series
GolfUppsala Open
Soderby, Sweden
Winner   Kajsa Arwefjall (a)                69-72-72—213                  ——
T53        Kristalle Blum                     80-76-77—233                  €426
 
Symetra Tour
Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship
Battle Creek Country Club, Battle Creek, Michigan
Winner  Fernanda Lira                       70-65-62—197                  $US26,250
T13        Julienne Soo                       71-70-67—208                  $2,865
T27        Robyn Choi                         68-69-74—211                  $1,476
T27        Soo Jin Lee                         66-70-75—211                  $1,476
T64        Julianne Alvarez                 71-70-78—219                  $572
MC         Stephanie Na                      74-73—147
MC         Hira Naveed                        76-76—152
 
Rose Ladies Series
JCB Golf and Country Club
Winner  Gabriella Cowley                    72                                         £10,000
T2          Whitney Hillier                      72                                         £1,417
 
Scotscraig Golf Club
Winner  Caroline Inglis                        66                                         £10,000
T6          Whitney Hillier                     71
T17        Amy Walsh                           73

Source: Aussies on Tour is a regular roundup of how Australia’s top men and women golfers are performing on the world’s golf tours and is provided by Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia

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