Cameron Smith won the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship for a third time with a three-shot victory after a weather-affected final round at Royal Queensland Golf Club.
The 150th Open Champion, who won this event back-to-back in 2017 and 2018, held an overnight three-shot lead but was caught early on the back nine, shortly after the second of two separate suspensions due to thunderstorms, which resulted in more than two hours of play lost.
Three birdies in a five-hole stretch from the 12th saw the 29-year-old reassert his command as a closing three-under-par 68 saw him claim victory in the season-opening tournament, which is co-sanctioned with the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
Australian Jason Scrivener and Japan’s Ryo Hisatsune finished in a share of second at 11 under after posting rounds of 67 and 65, respectively.
Home favourite Min Woo Lee was two shots further back in fourth alongside England’s Challenge Tour Graduate John Parry, who along with Hisatsune made a closing 65 to match the best score of the week.
Cameron Smith: “I really didn’t think I had it in me at the start of the week. I was a bit scratchy and the game has got better and better as the week went on, other than the front nine today.”
“I guess it’s just a little bit frustrating. You’re kind of in the mojo there a little bit and for it to be stopped not once, but twice, is a little bit frustrating. But just held onto it and played really solid those last eight holes.
“Obviously Scrivy (Jason Scrivener) is a great player and I knew he’d keep putting the pressure on me. It was a good last seven holes. I mean, lots of pressure and the golf course really wasn’t letting up even though it was a little bit softer.
“I think when we went in for that second time, I think I was just really tired. I came in, had a coffee, tried to get some energy back in me and went out there and played really solid the last seven or eight holes. It was kind of nice to know that I can do that with not much in the tank.”
Jason Scrivener: “Yeah, it’s a tough one to take. I felt like I had some good momentum, just the putt on 16 I felt like that was probably my chance there, to apply a bit of pressure. All in all, yeah, tied second is a pretty good start to the season.
“Yeah, probably just bouncing back after yesterday. Yesterday was pretty tough, a tough pill to swallow and to be in that position and just keep making birdies was nice. So, I’ll take that into next week.”