Golf Australia

Smith, Scott ramping right up

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith chips during his final round at the Northern Trust. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Cameron Smith and Adam Scott have surged up the FedEx Cup standings with dazzling top-five finishes on the US PGA Tour today.

Smith, uncustomarily subdued since tying for fifth at the Masters in April, breathed life back into his season with another quality 69 – his fourth sub-70 round in succession – at the Northern Trust in New Jersey today.

His share of third place to begin the tour’s playoffs not only was his joint best finish on tour since he won the Zurich Classic last year, it gave him a rankings boost at precisely the right time, climbing 37 rungs to sit at No.16 with the top 30 advancing to the Tour Championship in Atlanta next month.

Smith pulled within three shots of runaway leader Bryson DeChambeau during the final round, but ultimately settled for a 13-under total, five shots behind the American.

Tony Finau (68) was runner-up at 14 under, with Smith (69) and Billy Horschel (68) sharing third at 13 under.

And with a stirring late eagle, Adam Scott (69) continued his late-season surge to finish one shot further back and tied fifth.

"I haven't been in the mix for a couple months, so it was fun to play well under the gun and it was important to do that heading into three really important events," Smith said.

It is likely the new world No.39 will only need to make the cut at the second playoffs event in Boston this week to assure himself of a Tour Championship debut, having missed out on the finale last year.

Advancing to the Tour Championship, where the FedEx Cup winner is crowned, guarantees starts in all four major championships next year.

"To get into the Tour Championship has been a goal all year, so I'm going to be trying my guts out over the next couple of weeks," Smith said.

Fellow Queenslander Scott himself leapt 33 places to No.40, with his second consecutive top-five result taking him to 38th in the world.

The 2013 Masters winner has battled with his putter for much of the past two years, but he ranked first in the field this week for strokes gained putting – a sure sign reuniting with coach Brad Malone is working wonders.

"There was lots of good stuff this week; the putting is looking really good and the proximity to the hole was great," said Scott, who also finished third at the US PGA Championship.

"If I can keep that going in these next three events, I can get myself to Atlanta."

Jason Day carded a lacklustre even-par 71 to share 20th at eight under at the event he won in 2015 and sit eighth in the FedEx rankings.

Marc Leishman signed off in style with a 67 for his five-under total which left him in a tie for 34th that left him 24th in the FedEx rankings.


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