Cameron Smith captures the Sony Open

Cameron Smith defeated Brendan Steele in a play-off to win the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Jack Seddon's picture
Mon, 13 Jan 2020
Cameron Smith captures the Sony Open

Cameron Smith beat Brendan Steele in a play-off to win the Sony Open in Hawaii and the second PGA Tour title of his career (his first solo victory).

Smith birdied the final hole to shoot a two-under 68 at Waialae Country Club to put him on 11-under par for the tournament, level with overnight leader Brendan Steele.

Steele started Sunday's final round with a three-shot lead and after missing a short putt for par at the 17th, Smith was breathing down his neck with just one hole to play.

Smith made a birdie at the par-5 18th, while Steele hooked his approach shot and salvaged a par, taking the contest to a play-off.

Steele made another error at the play-off, when his approach shot from the middle of the fairway sailed over the green and he failed to get up-and-down, allowing Smith to secure victory with a two-putt for par.

"That [victory] has been one that I've wanted to tick off for a long time," Smith said. "I've been out here four or five years now, and to finally say that I have won an event by myself is quite good.

Australian Smith, whose uncle lost his home due to the bushfires in his home country, paid tribute to his nation following his win, while he also raised $10,500 for relief efforts throughout the tournament.

"It's been an Aussie week. Wade [Ormsby] won over in Asia, me winning here. I just hope that just brings a little bit of joy to some people that are going through some tough times.

"I just wanted to make birdies. It was tough the first three days to make birdies and I managed to scrape in a few. Every birdie putt I had just meant that little bit more.

"Rather than kind of wanting to make it I almost felt like I had to make it. I've always been quite good at not giving up. I've never felt the need to kind of mentally check out in any way.

"I started bogey, triple-bogey (on Thursday) and then finished that day even par and progressed from there. It was a big fight all week basically."

Ryan Palmer was one-shot off the lead coming down the 18th where his aggressive play from a fairway bunker lead to debate on Twitter, with some applauding his risky approach while others slammed him for not taking a provisional.

A birdie for Palmer would have put him in the play-off, so the American pulled out his fairway wood from the bunker, but blocked it towards the stands. Instead of taking a provisional, Palmer relied on being granted relief from the stands and took 20 minutes before playing his next shot. Watch the incident below:

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