Smith dedicates Sony Open win to fellow Australians

Cameron Smith made a birdie on the 18th hole to force a play-off at the Sony Open
Sony Open final leaderboard
-11: C Smith (Aus)*, B Steele; -10: W Simpson; -9: R Palmer, K Kisner, G McDowell (NI)
*Denotes play-off winner

Australian Cameron Smith claimed the PGA Tour’s Sony Open and said he hoped his play-off win would allow people in his country to “smile for a moment or two” during the bushfire crisis.

Smith, 26, won the first play-off hole at Hawaii’s Waialae Country Club to beat American Brendan Steele.

Smith’s uncle Warren has lost his home in the bushfires in Australia.

“Australia is doing it tough right now and the focus is probably not on my golf, for good reason,” said Smith.

“But hopefully it gave a few people reason to smile for a moment or two.

“Uncle Warren drove back to his place the other day and what he found was quite devastating. I saw the photos and the only thing he had left was a little shed that him and his son built a few months back.

“We’re a tight-knit family and it hit everyone pretty hard. It’s good to do something good, and hopefully puts a smile on their face.”

Smith fired a a two-under-par 68 – including a crucial birdie putt on the final hole – to share the mark of 11-under for the tournament with Steele.

On the first play-off hole Steele, who had led all day, was wayward off the tee, allowing Smith the chance to two-putt for par and victory.

The Australian had never won a PGA Tour event on his own before, having previously only shared a win with Sweden’s Jonas Blixt in the team stroke-play format at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2017.

Smith and a host of other golfers at the event donated a portion of their prize money to the relief effort for the Australian fires.

At least 28 people have been killed by the fires and 15.6 million acres of bush, forest and parks across Australia has burned.

Elsewhere on Sunday, South Africa’s Branden Grace shot a final-day 62 to deny compatriot Louis Oosthuizen back-to-back victories in the South African Open in Johannesburg.

X