Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #70
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Many have referred to the player’s championship as golf’s fifth major tournament. A lot of history has been made there and the prize money is through the roof.
Cameron Smith from Australia took home $3.6 million this past weekend. A long shot from the country of India, Anirban Lahiri won over $2 million for finishing second, just one shot off the pace.
The tournament was full of what best can be described as weird shots. The tenth hole-in-one in tournament play was scored on the famous island green 17th hole. Joaquín Niemann from the country of Chile scored a birdie with a wedge from sixty yards on the fly. There were shanks, tops, plenty of water balls and 200 yard drives into the wind. Let’s take a brief look at how Cam Smith took the title.
The weather was certainly a factor this year with unseasonably cool weather in Ponta Vedra, Florida. The first round was delayed by rain and then suspended due to darkness. Harold Varner III was 7 under but made a triple bogey on the 17th hole and bogeyed 18 to finish at -3. The first round resumed on Friday but was not completed after officials declared the course unpayable. Play resumed at noon Saturday in windy conditions and the first round was completed with Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge tied for the lead at -6. Cam smith was not in the top ten.
On Sunday the 36 hole cut was made at two over par. Sam Burns and Tom Hoge led after the second round with 7 under. With a third round of 69, Cam Smith moved up to a tie for sixth. Lahiri led with -9. The final round started on Monday at 11am. Dustin Johnson had the round of the day, a nine under 63 to finish T9. Lahiri fired a final round 69 for -12 in second place and Smith shot a 66 to win by one, but he made things interesting on the final hole. He pushed his drive into the pine straw in the right-hand rough and then tried to play it safe by punching his ball out, but he hit it too hard and it rolled into the water on the left side of the fairway. He took a drop for a one shot penalty and got it up and down sinking a ten foot putt forcing Lahiri to birdie the last hole for a tie. When Lahiri could only manage a par, Smith had the win. His ten birdies in the round, tied the 41 year old record.
The way Cam played, he has to be a favorite in the real first Major of the season, The Masters, which is just three weeks away.
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