WiretoWire: Cameron Smith wins THE PLAYERS in Monday finish
March 14, 2022
By Staff , PGATOUR.COM
- March 14, 2022
- Australia's Cameron Smith finished 13-under at TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course to earn his first PLAYERS title. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Cameron Smith has always been known for his world-class short game, and it was on full display in Monday’s final round of THE PLAYERS Championship. The 28-year-old Australian rebounded from missed fairways on holes 14-16 to save pars, then hit a short iron to 4 feet on the island-green par-3 17th and converted the ensuing birdie. After finding the water with his second shot on the par-4 18th, he wedged to 3 feet and saved bogey, good for a 13-under total at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course and one-stroke victory over Anirban Lahiri, after Lahiri’s birdie chip to tie settled just left of the hole. Smith earns 600 FedExCup points for his victory in his adopted home region of Northeast Florida. The most rewarding aspect of the victory, though? Smith’s mom and sister had flown in from Australia for an extended visit, the first time they had seen each other in two-plus years due to the COVID pandemic. “My main priority was to hang out with them, and golf was second for these few weeks,” said Smith after his PLAYERS victory was made official. His spot on the leaderboard was one better.
After the wacky week at TPC Sawgrass concludes, the PGA TOUR will head to Palm Harbor, Florida, for the Valspar Championship. Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead) will once again serve as the host venue, and the field is impressive with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Kisner, Jason Day, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland and Bubba Watson. Sam Burns returns as the defending champion, and 500 FedExCup points will go to the winner.
It was an emotional Wednesday evening last week as the new class of the World Golf Hall of Fame was inducted. Headlining the class was obviously Tiger Woods, who was introduced by his 14-year-old daughter Sam, who brought the crowd to its feet with her charisma, storytelling and emotional connection to her famous dad. Tiger also showed some rare emotion during his speech, focusing mainly on how he was raised, the challenges he faced as a junior, the lessons his mother and father taught him, and avoiding any references to his remarkable professional career and 15 majors. Also inducted were retired PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, three-time U.S. Women's Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning and the late Marion Hollins, a visionary who became the first woman to develop prominent golf courses.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Tiger Woods’ World Golf Hall of Fame acceptance speech
“This is as tough as golf as you're ever going to play,” Keegan Bradley said after shooting a 1-under 71 on Saturday, which he called one of the best rounds of his life.
BY THE NUMBERS
10 – Shane Lowry holed the 10th ace all-time on the iconic island green and had an epic celebration with the fans.
43 – Hours it took the group of Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas to finish their first round at THE PLAYERS. Here’s how they handled the delays.
82 – Number of feet (plus another six inches) traversed by Jason Day’s par putt on 14. The second longest PLAYERS putt ever made (since ShotLink began in 2003) and second longest of this season behind Graeme McDowell’s 88-footer at the WM Phoenix Open.
349 – Millions of dollars that UNICEF is requesting for relief in Ukraine. The golf community is stepping up through GolfersforUkraine.com, and more than $600,000 had been donated through the site by Tuesday of last week.
COMCAST BUSINESS TOUR TOP 10
This Week Name Points 1. Scottie Scheffler 1,620 2. Cameron Smith 1,354 3. Hideki Matsuyama 1,321 4. Tom Hoge 1,162 5. Talor Gooch 1,093 6. Viktor Hovland 1,006 7. Sungjae Im 946 8.
Sam Burns 890
9. Joaquin Niemann 835 10.
Max Homa 808
The Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 highlights and rewards the extraordinary level of play required to earn a spot in the TOP 10 at the conclusion of the FedExCup Regular Season as determined by the FedExCup standings. The competition recognizes and awards the most elite in golf.