Cameron Smith claims biggest PGA Tour payout after winning Players Championship



The 28-year-old finished a shot past Anirban Lahiri at TPC Sawgrass, walking away with the winner’s check for $3.6 million.

Smith carded a six-under 66 to finish 13 under for the tournament and claim his second title of the season and fifth of his career.

When asked what he was going to do with that amount of money at the ensuing press conference, Smith had yet to make up his mind.

“I really don’t – I don’t have an answer to that. It wasn’t understood,” he said with a smile.

“That’s a lot of money. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it.”

Smith lines up his putt on the fourth hole in the final round of the Players Championship.

The victory meant even more to Smith given who was in the crowd.

Among the fans watching Smith take the win in Florida were his mother and sister, whom he said he hadn’t seen in two and a half years.

Smith, who lives in Florida, explained that “golf was second in those few weeks.”

“It’s really cool to have them here. My main priority was really spending time with them and golf was second for those few weeks.

“It’s nice to see them and nice to get a win for them.”

The tournament – one of the PGA Tour’s flagship events – was significantly delayed due to bad weather, rain, darkness and lightning meaning it was due to end on Monday rather than the traditional Sunday final day.

When play resumed early Monday morning, the 71 players remaining on the field were expected to complete their third round.

And after a quick turnaround, Smith started his final round strong with a massive 38-foot birdie putt on the first hole.

He recorded five birdies on his first six holes, before three consecutive bogeys from the seventh hole weakened his grip on the lead.

But, under enormous pressure, Smith restored his lead with four consecutive birdies to start the back nine, giving him a three-shot lead going into the final hole.

Lahiri birdied the 17th behind Smith to cut the lead to two, while on the 18th Smith hit his ball in the water as it looked like the title might be slipping away.

However, he managed to save the bogey, leaving Lahiri needing a birdie to force the playoff, but the Indian golfer could only manage a par, cementing Smith’s victory.

The win meant he became the fifth Australian to win the famous event, moving Smith up to sixth in the world golf rankings.

Smith comes out of the pine straw along the 18th fairway in the final round of the Players Championship.

“I felt like one of those greats was the next step for me,” Smith said. “I knocked on the door several times and just felt like it was my time.

Asked about joining his compatriots in winning the tournament, Smith said: “Obviously a lot of Aussies have won here, a lot of great Australian golfers have won here, but the best that ever lived have won here too.

“So it’s pretty cool to have the name on the same trophy as them.”


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