Cameron Smith wins The Players Championship


Thanks to a pair of huge birdie runs, and a clutch shot at the island green, Cameron Smith walked off TPC Sawgrass a winner on Monday afternoon.

Smith posted a 6-under 66 in his final round in a rare Monday finish on the PGA Tour to win The Players Championship, marking his biggest win to date and his second so far this season.

Smith took home $3.6 million with the win, which was part of a $20 million purse for the tournament — the largest in the history of the Tour.

“It’s unreal. A long, hard week and so nice to come out on top,” Smith said. “This is one of the big ones. It’s nice to get it done.”

Thursday and Friday passed with very little golf having been played across the board, as storms battered the Jacksonville area and forced those rounds to be finished on Saturday and Sunday. The third round was then suspended midway through play on Sunday night, so players wrapped that up on Monday morning before heading back out to the course.

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At that time, Anirban Lahiri held the solo lead — though that quickly disappeared after a huge run from Smith.

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Smith opened his final round with five birdies in six holes. While that didn’t hold, as he bogeyed his final three holes of the front nine, he made the turn with a share of the lead.

Smith more than made up for his slip on the back nine, where he started with four straight birdies in six holes to take a two-shot lead. He then took dead aim at the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass, and landed his tee shot right next to the cup to set up an easy birdie putt.

“I mean, I’d be lying if I didn’t push it a little bit,” Smith said. “I was trying to hit it over the bunker there and hold it up against the wind. The wind didn’t really do much for maybe three quarters of the shot, and it held it up right there at the end. Yeah, that was just awesome.”

Though his drive on the final hole went wide right into the trees, and then into the water, Smith’s lead was far too big for anyone to catch him. Smith saved his bogey with a perfect up-and-down to finish at 13-under on the week.

Smith had just 10 putts on his final nine holes.

“That was probably the big key today, to be honest. It kept me in it,” Smith said. “I made plenty of birdies. Had to make a lot of good par putts as well there at the end. “It’s definitely the strength of my game. And sometimes I maybe lean on it too much, but it’s nice to see them go in.”

While Lahiri had a chance to force a playoff, thanks to his birdie on the 17th, his approach on the final hole missed the green. Lahiri’s chip-in attempt was then just short, which officially gave Smith the win. Lahiri finished with a 3-under 69 on Monday and finished the week at 12-under, which marked his best finish on Tour since 2017.

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Paul Casey finished in third at 11-under, and then Kevin Kisner and Keegan Bradley rounded out the top five.

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith picked up the biggest win of his career on Monday at The Players Championship. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)



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