Cameron Smith Wins The Players

Cameron Smith Wins The Players March 14, 2022

Cameron Smith became the fifth Aussie to win the PGA Tour’s premiere golf championship today–THE PLAYERS Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He barely defeated Anirban Lihiri of India by one stroke to win what the pros call “the fifth major” in golf, Everyone agrees that it always presents the strongest field of the year, thus topping those of the four majors. The windy, rain-delayed tournament had to be extended an extra day to Monday.

Smith played a wild round of six-under par 66 today after scoring only one par through 13 holes. When he came to the treacherous little par three 17th hole, he had a two-stroke lead. Tournament officials always place the pin location in that tournament on the 4th and final round on the back right side of the green, near the water which surrounds almost all of the green. Plus, there is a small sand bunker on the right side, between the back center of the green and the water. The shot is only about 140 yards. To hit the ball at the pin, a straight shot must fly over that bunker.

With a two stroke lead, common wisdom says you play safe to make sure your ball finishes on the green, thus favor the center of the green. But Smith’s ball sailed straight at the pin and finished four feet from the hole. So, he looked like he was a daredevil hero. But, in fact, he said afterwards in the interview that he “pushed” the shot. Heh, it’s better to be lucky than good.

Yet despite Smith’s lead with one hole to play, he still was no shoe-in to take home the trophy. He pushed his drive on the long, dogleg par four 18th hole into the trees. He then tried to play safe on his second shot by pitching it into the fairway. But instead, he hit it too hard and the ball barely went through the fairway and trickled over the wood pilings to splash in the water hazard. From there, after dropping a ball with a one stroke penalty, he made a brilliant up-and-down for a bogey to escape disaster and walk away with a big smile on his face and a big check soon deposited in his bank account.

Cameron Smith is on a roll. He won the Sentry Tournament of Champions weeks ago. Now he has his eye on the first upcoming major–The Masters at Augusta, Georgia. He says he likes that course, and he has finished second there. But in my day, they never would have let him in the clubhouse. How so? Ben Crenshaw played his first Masters as an amateur in college. When he arrived at the grounds and entered the clubhouse, Mr. Clifford Roberts was there to greet him as he did with most players. Clifford was Bobby Jones’ close friend who helped the legendary superstar amateur stage The Masters. But Roberts was old school, so he said to the young but somewhat long-haired college student who was to acquire the nickname Gentile Ben, “Son, you need a haircut.”

Crenshaw got the message, turned around, and headed for the nearest barber shop. I suspect that Cameron Smith has twice as long of hair as Gentle Ben did. But then, Roberts is no more, things change, Augusta National even has female members now, which they never allowed for decades, not to mention about the race issue, and life goes on.

"Hasn't been so. U.S. going through tough times. Democracy imperiled. Two party system not working ..."

What Does Mike Pence Believe about ..."
"None of this means a thing. Hillary gave material to reporters. And what does this ..."

Will Donald Trump Plead Insanity?
"You appear to be an older white racist based on you commentary. Trump's Supreme Court ..."

Will Donald Trump Plead Insanity?

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad