Smith defends Aussie crown after final-round thriller
What happened at the Australian PGA Championship?
Once again Cameron Smith demonstrated that he is one of the world’s most talented young golfers by becoming the first man since Robert Allenby in 2001 to successfully defend the Australian PGA Championship.
Smith held a three shot lead going into the final round but a determined performance from Marc Leishman made for a thrilling last day.
The returning champion struggled on the front nine, allowing his playing partner and compatriot to take a two-shot lead into the turn.
Smith persevered and plugged away at the World No. 21’s lead until he finally regained top spot thanks to a stunning chip to set up a tap-in birdie on 15.
Short game. ???
— PGA of Australia (@PGAofAustralia) December 2, 2018
He went on to close out victory at 16-under-par, two clear of Leishman.
Elsewhere, Ross McGowan put in a stunning performance on his way to a course record, 63. But, his total of 11-under fell short of the mark.
"That was pretty special"
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) December 2, 2018
John Senden has swung a few drivers in his time, but it’s safe to say he’s never had his big stick snap mid-swing…
Have you ever seen a driver snap mid-swing?
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 29, 2018
At the par-5 9th during Thursday’s opening round at RACV Royal Pines, the shaft of Senden’s driver appeared to break in half inside the grip, causing the popular veteran to miss his ball completely.
Here it is in super slo-mo (wait for the end) pic.twitter.com/UvtCGCpb29
— Ryan Ballengee (@RyanBallengee) November 29, 2018
Senden stumbled around the tee box in disbelief and looked to be hurt, but he later said it was just a small pinch and there was no lasting damage.
After a lengthy debate with the rules official, it was deemed Senden’s stroke would count and he would have to take a drop and play his second shot from the tee box.
The 47-year-old got down for a bogey.
“It was just the force of it coming down and it snapped just in front of my forefinger on my right hand,” Senden explained. “When the club collapsed in this area, I had no chance of stopping the shot.”
He joked: “It actually spooked me a bit.”