Cameron Smith won the Sony Open in Hawaii on Sunday for his second PGA TOUR title, and first individual win. He also won the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Jonas Blixt. Smith, 26, moved to fifth in the FedExCup after defeating Brendan Steele in a one-hole playoff a Waialae.
Here’s a closer look at the best stats from Smith’s win in Hawaii:
1. BOUNCE BACK: Two holes into the tournament, Smith didn’t look destined for the winner’s circle. He bogeyed his first hole Thursday, then made a triple-bogey 7 on the next hole. He is the first player since at least 2003 to win after playing the first two holes in 4 over. ShotLink, which began in 2003, records the starting hole for each round.
2. ON A ROLL: Smith played his next 16 holes in 4 under to shoot 70 in the first round. His putter helped him dig out of that early hole. He gained +4.8 strokes on the greens Thursday. He went 4 for 5 from 10-15 feet – TOUR players made 30% of putts from that range last season -- and sank putts of 21 and 15 feet. It was the second-best Strokes Gained: Putting round of Smith’s career, surpassed only by the +5.0 he gained in the second round of this season’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Contrast that to the final three rounds this week, when Smith didn’t sink a single putt from outside 10 feet. He did hole nine of 11 attempts from 7-10 feet in the final three rounds, though. That’s a 82% make percentage.
3. STEELE’S SUNDAY: Steele started the final round with a three-shot lead and looked to have the tournament in hand after holing a bunker shot on the par-3 11th. He played the final seven holes in 2 over, though. He bogeyed 13 and 17 to sign for a final-round 71. Steele led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting through three rounds but was last in the field in that statistic Sunday. He was just 1 for 5 from 4-8 feet in the final round and didn’t make a putt outside 6 feet.
|STEELE'S SONY WEEK|
|Category||First 3 rounds||Sunday|
4. WEBB’S CLOSE CALL: Webb Simpson could have joined the playoff with a birdie at the par-5 finishing hole, but he missed the fairway right and couldn’t reach the green. It was another close call for Simpson. In his last 11 starts, he has four runner-up finishes and this third-place finish. His worst finish in that stretch is T30.
Simpson’s worst finish in three starts this season is T7 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He finished runner-up in his previous start, losing a playoff to Tyler Duncan at The RSM Classic.
Simpson is fourth in Strokes Gained: Approach this season and 12th in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Since the RBC Canadian Open – the start of this 11-event stretch – Simpson has been the second-best putter on TOUR and fourth in Strokes Gained: Approach.
|BEST SG: PUTTING PER ROUND SINCE RBC CANADIAN OPEN (min. 35 rounds)|
|BEST SG: APPROACH PER ROUND SINCE RBC CANADIAN OPEN (min. 35 rounds)|
5. MORE TO COME FROM MORIKAWA: Simpson finished runner-up to Rory McIlroy at RBC Canadian Open. That’s where Collin Morikawa arrived on the scene as well, finishing T14 in his pro debut. There are some other similarities between the two. Both are strong iron players who have shown a penchant for going low. Morikawa is second on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach since the RBC Canadian Open (see above).
Their shared consistency also is worth noting. They’ve both made 16 consecutive cuts, the second-longest active streak on TOUR (Tommy Fleetwood leads that category with 31 in a row).
Morikawa finished T21 this week but he held the first-round lead with an impressive 65 in tough conditions. It was his 18th round of 66 or lower since turning pro at the RBC Canadian Open. That’s two more than anyone else on TOUR in that span. Simpson is second in that category.
|ROUNDS OF 66 OR LOWER SINCE RBC CANADIAN OPEN|