25 Jan 2021 | Professional golf |
Sizzling Davis logs best US Tour finish
by Martin Blake
Australia's Cameron Davis had to be content with a $US462,000 pay cheque and his best finish in a US PGA Tour event despite a sizzling final-round 64 at the American Express tournament in California today.
Davis, the 25-year-old from Sydney who is one of this country's most promising young players, ultimately finished third after having a share of the lead during the final round.
He had started three shots back but a string of birdies on the front nine -- at the second, third, fifth, seventh, eighth and from tap-in range at nine -- put him right in the picture.
The Monash Country Club product, who learned his early golf at Roseville Golf Club on Sydney's north shore, turned in 30 but a few missed opportunities on the back side cost him in a hot race to the finish line.
Patrick Cantlay nailed everything in an astonishing 61 and Si Woo Kim also shot 64 on the Stadium course at PGA West in La Quinta.
Kim eventually reeled in everyone with birdies at the 16th and 17th setting him up. Between the Korean, Cantlay and Davis there were a whopping 27 birdies for the day, with the Australian finishing third, three shots back from Kim.
Seattle-based Davis had a great chance until the par-five 16th, where he put himself in range of the green, but his long iron second shot ducked left and into a cavernous greenside trap from which he could only make par, his birdie try from the fringe sliding under the hole.
Another birdie opportunity at the par-three 17th burned the hole and left him two shots back as he went to the 18th tee, where his approach sailed to the back of the green and he two-putted for par.
He shot 68-70-66-64 to be 20 under par for the week, and could scarcely have done much more. Davis said he needed four good rounds to get over the line with a win. "I've been trending in a good direction for a while now, yes, it's just a week where everything kind of clicks," he said. "I had a couple of -- well I had a bad ball striking day and a good putting day and a couple of good ball striking days and didn't make any putts and it's just about, I think for me to get over the line it's just having four solid days in a row where I keep up every part of my game. "I'm getting closer to it, it's obviously great to keep seeing personal bests keep rolling through, so hopefully this leads to a little higher on the leaderboard in the near future. But it is, it's been great to see improvement because that keeps you excited and keeps you working hard as well."
It was the 2017 Australian Open champion's fourth top-10 finish on the US tour in his third full season. His previous-best finish in a main tour event was tied-sixth at the Sanderson Farms Open in California last year, a year in which he earned more than $US850,000 in prizemoney.
Davis' world ranking will climb significantly from last week's 217th.
Another New South Welshman, Matt Jones, was also in the mix early but a quadruple bogey with two shots in the water at the par-four seventh hole saw him slide outside the top 20 after a closing 72.
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