04/26/2021 at 10:31 PM CEST
Australians Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman with decisive blows on the 16th hole were proclaimed new champions of the Zurich Classic tournament this Sunday, the only team tournament on the PGA Tour, after beating the duo of South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel in the playoffs.
Both teams finished the tournament with 268 strokes (-20), after having delivered two signed cards of 70 (-2) and 71 (-1), respectively.
The equality between the two teams was not broken until the first playoff hole, the 18th, which the new champions won with a par of 5, after Oosthuizen sent his tee shot into the water. and he narrowly missed a putt of more than three meters to have also made par.
South Africans ahead
Oosthuizen and Schwartzel started the last round with a one-shot advantage, but their record of 71 (-1) with three pairs and two bogeys, prevented them from having secured the title.
It was Smith’s third career victory and his second at the Zurich Classic, which he won with Sweden’s Jonas Blixt in 2017., the first year the New Orleans PGA Tour visit switched from a traditional individual format to an event with 80 teams of players. That first win also came in a playoff.
It was Smith’s best result since he tied for second at the 2020 Masters delayed by the pandemic. last November. It was also his sixth top 10 since the current tour season began.
Sixth win for Leishman
While the victory was Leishman’s sixth, his best result since he tied for fifth at the Masters this month. and his first win since the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open.
Smith and Leishman each earned $ 1,070,000 (883,000 euros) for the victory, a result that also forced Smith to fulfill a promise he had made to cut his mullet hairstyle when he won a tournament.
The climactic finale capped a compelling duel between two teams that started together in the final grouping and they took turns holding a lead that never grew more than two strokes.
American Ryan Palmer and Spaniard Jon Rahm, the 2019 defending champions, closed with a record of 70 strokes (-2) which gave them a cumulative score of 271 (-17) and they went back two positions to seventh that they occupied alone.
Palmer and Rahm were always involved in the game and with options for the title, after finishing with three birdies, including last on par 5 at hole 18