A bond so close Cameron Smith let Marc Leishman trim his mullet has paid off big time for the Australian duo with a $2.6m collect at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
In a thrilling final day, which started with the Aussie lawn lovers in the lead, the tournament finished in a playoff with the Aussies up against South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.
A horror drive from Oosthuizen on the first playoff hole found the water, opening the door for the Australian mates to waltz through.
Smith then nailed a two-metre par putt as shouts of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” rang out, with crowds finally allowed back to the golf.
“It was pretty cool week. It was really tough, that back nine was brutal but we hung in there and got it done,” Smith said.
Leishman and Smith, nicknamed “Team Mullet” for the event, took the lead into the final round, played in alternate shot format, and held it until a late stumble after back-to-back blunders threatened their title pursuit.
A rare bogey on the 15th hole, their first since the second round, dropped them a shot behind the South Africans.
Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman celebrate a birdie in the final round. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
Then Smith sent his tee shot on the short par four 16th hole into the water.
But there seemed little panic between the pair, who played together at the World Cup in Melbourne in 2018, and after taking a drop, Leishman chipped in from off the green for birdie to regain a share of the lead.
A dramatic twist at the 17th hole, where both pairs made bogey, set up a final hole shootout for victory.
The Aussies were in pole position after the South Africans missed the 18th fairway.
Leishman missed the green with his second shot into the par five, and Smith chipped to around four metres, turning it into a putt-off with the South Africans also on the green in three.
But both birdie attempts missed, and after they each tapped in for par, they were headed for a playoff, which meant coming down the 18th again.
Then, inexplicably, Oosthuizen put his tee shot on the first playoff hole in the water. The South Africans had to reload off the tee with a third shot.
Despite finding a fairway bunker off the tee themselves, the Aussies comfortably found the green in three shots
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It was Smith’s second win in the team event and his first on tour since the Queenslander won the Sony Open in Hawaii last January.
For Leishman, it was a sixth PGA Tour win, his last coming at the Farmers Insurance Open, also last January.
The win continued a strong run of form from the pair, who both recorded top-10 finishes at the Masters earlier this month.
They are also set to be Australia’s representatives at the Tokyo Olympics after countryman Adam Scott announced last week he would not be going.
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