Australia

One wild tee shot costs Cam Smith dearly in Northern Trust play-off

Cameron Smith has fallen agonisingly short of winning the US PGA Tour’s opening FedExCup play-off event, losing a sudden-death play-off at the Northern Trust in New Jersey.

The joint 54-hole leader with world number one John Rahm after posting a spectacular course-record 60 on Saturday, Smith gifted victory to Finau when he drove out of bounds on the first extra hole.

“[It was] just a terrible swing. Just a mis-hit, and in these conditions, you can’t mis-hit the ball,” Smith said.

“My driver has cost me a few tournaments this year. That makes me more determined to try and figure it out before the end of the year.”

Both players had finished at 20-under, after Smith closed with a 4-under 67 and Finau recorded a final-round-low 65.

Without a win since the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, Finau has been knocking on the door relentlessly for another breakthrough.

The 31-year-old has posted 11 top-three finishes since and 39 top-10s, including five in his past eight majors.

Finau had also lost three tournaments in playoffs.

Tony Finau ended a five-year wait for a PGA Tour title with play-off victory over Cam Smith.(

Getty Images: Stacey Revere

)

As well as the spoils, Finau rocketed into the lead of the overall FexExCup standings and into pole position for a mega $US15 million ($A21 million) bonus payday at season’s end.

Smith has soared from 16th to third in the standings before the second playoffs event, the BMW Championship in Maryland starting on Thursday.

Fellow Australians Marc Leishman, Cam Davis and Matt Jones also progressed after maintaining their positions in the top 70.

But the season is over for former world number ones Jason Day and Adam Scott after they missed the cut in New Jersey.

AAP


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