26 Apr 2021 | Professional golf |
#TeamMullet win on PGA Tour
by Mark Hayes
#TeamMullet has won another Zurich Classic of New Orleans for Australia.
Having adopted the unofficial name in honour of Cam Smith’s “throwback” hairstyle, he and Marc Leishman hung tough during a wild back nine at TPC Louisiana for a playoff victory.
The great mates, in foursomes mode, combined for a par up the first playoff hole after Louis Oosthuizen made a rare mistake off the tee, driving his ball into the water and leaving teammate Charl Schwartzel only the slightest of chances.
After taking the conservative route up the par-five, Smith rolled in a 2m par putt with the South Africans staring down a double-bogey.
It was Smith’s second win in the team event, having shared the trophy with Sweden’s Jonas Blixt in 2017 for his first win of what is now three wins on the US PGA Tour.
But to have done with his great mate Leishman was clearly important to dual Australian PGA champion Smith.
“It was a pretty cool week (and) we just played some really solid golf,” said the Queenslander after the pair’s closing round of two-under-par 70 that featured a rollercoaster final hour of two birdies and three bogeys.
“It was really tough, that back nine was brutal, but we got it done.”
Leishman, after picking up his sixth PGA Tour victory, made what turned out to be the crucial shot just when the South African pair looked set to pounce.
With a one-shot deficit on the tee of the driveable par-four 16th, Smith turned what first appeared to be a really solid 3-wood over and it bounded left into the water near the green.
Leishman took his penalty drop and then, with the team’s third, played a stunning little chip that trickled into the hole for the most unlikely of birdies.
“I wasn’t walking up there thinking I wanted to give him a little jab in the ribs or anything,” Leishman joked afterwards.
“I was just concentrating on the next shot and it was lucky enough to be on an upslope and I made it.
“It was a lot of fun doing that.”
Leishman and Smith combined for rounds of 63-72-63-70 to reach the playoff at 20 under, again highlighting their great teamwork.
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