PGA Tour weather interrupted Players Championship last Monday (March 14), but Australian Cameron Smith stormed to victory with a final six-under 66 to win by one stroke.
The Players Championship, which was marred by storm delays and low temperatures in the single digits, finally ended on Monday in sunny skies at TPC Sawgrass, giving Cameron Smith the best victory of his career.
A record-breaking $3.6 million check is presented to him until he’s hailed the 5th Australian to triumph at the PGA Championship. If you’re looking for the latest Singapore news in the world of golf or sports, in general, you’ve come to the right place.
The PGA Tour’s Players Championship in Florida was hit by rain and thunderstorms on Thursday, prompting a lengthy interruption of play that will prevent the opening round from being completed.
As catastrophic weather conditions came into Ponte Vedra Beach, players were evacuated from the TPC Sawgrass course, with play restarting approximately four hours later.
More bad weather is predicted for all 3 days of the event, which might lead to more delays and cancellations.
Seventy-two golfers were still waiting to tee off on Thursday because of the suspension, including Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Jordan Spieth.
When play was halted, Tommy Fleetwood of England, Will Zalatoris, and Harold Varner III were the only players under par. When the players were taken off the course, Zalatoris and Varner had finished 11 holes and Fleetwood had 8 holes to go.
Whiffing through the weather
His opening round at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida’s final round was marked by five birdies in his first six holes as the 28-year-old Queenslander surged into contention.
His sister Mel, as well as his mother Sharon, were in attendance, making it even more special for Smith to win his second tournament this year, the Tournament of Champions held in January. Covid-19 travel restrictions had kept Smith from seeing his family for over two years, he said in many news Singapore interviews.
Smith fired a final round 66 to finish the tournament on 13 under par, 1 above India’s Anirban Lahiri, who finished with a 69. Paul Casey of the United Kingdom finished in a tie for third with Kevin Kisner of the United States on 11 under par.
The last round was really only accomplished early on Monday because of weather delays that halted the game on Thursday and Friday, leaving Smith two strokes behind 54-hole leader Lahiri. A 38-foot birdie putt with the first hole put Smith within one shot of the lead going into the third round.
After a birdie on the second, he was tied for the lead before a 3rd consecutive birdie on the third gave him the lead for good. With a birdie on the fourth, he took a two-shot lead. Three bogeys in a row on the seventh, eighth, and ninth holes allowed Keegan Bradley and Paul Casey, both from England, to tie him for first place.
In response, Smith produced a fantastic back nine, shooting 4 consecutive birdies also on the 10th through the 13th to reclaim a two-stroke lead. When his tee shot sailed into the trees on the left side of the fairway, he had a wobble. However, he came back magnificently to even the score.
With three shots in hand, Smith fearlessly hit a nine-iron to within 4 ft for a birdie at the legendary par-three 17th.
However, there was a surprise at the end, when another errant tee shot had him stranded among the trees in the middle of the course. The Australian was forced to drop after his puck went into the water during a chip attempt.
But Smith’s steely play once again saved the day. He hit the 4th shot to 4 feet and made a simple bogey putt to keep the deficit at a manageable level. It wasn’t until Lahiri’s 17th-hole birdie put him within a shot of Smith’s lead that the Indian missed a 41-foot putt to hand Smith a 3.6 million US dollars payout at the top of the rankings.