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Sony Open report

Smith snatches Sony victory in sudden-death play-off

Cameron Smith rallied late to force a play-off with Brendan Steele and win his second PGA Tour title
 

Sony Open report: What happened at Waialae CC?

Australia’s Cameron Smith beat Brendan Steele on the first play-off hole in Hawaii to win his first individual PGA Tour title after the pair finished on 11-under.

Having pledged to donate $500 for each birdie he made and $1000 for each eagle to the bushfire battling efforts in his home country, there was plenty of motivation aside from the prospect of victory to help Smith claw back a three-shot deficit on Sunday.

Making the turn at one-under for the day, the emphasis remained on Smith to put in a strong challenge if he was to truly be in contention, and he obliged.

Despite the tough conditions he battled through and with a birdie at the 72nd hole he was able to match Steele’s score and send the match into overtime.

Another birdie was to follow for Smith on the first play-off hole. His drive was far from textbook but his recovery shot was simply brilliant.

Steele had an opportunity of his own with just an 87-yard pitch left into the green of the par-5. He fired this over the back of the green and with that his chance of victory slipped away.

The American headed into the final day on top of the pile and had he not endured a torrid finish he could well have avoided a play-off and added a fourth PGA Tour title to his record.

A bogey at 17 came at just the wrong time and he followed by making a mess of the 18th which was the easiest hole of the day.

Ryan Palmer was another who was in with a shout of victory coming up the last. He was one shot back of the lead and knew he needed at least a birdie to force a play-off.

Palmer found his drive in a fairway bunker and chose to go for the green with his second, pulling out a fairway wood.

This didn’t have the desired effect as his ball ricocheted off a scoreboard and would not be found. He ended dup finishing with a bogey and two shots back of the play-off.

Sony Open report: What the winner said

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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