Marc Leishman And Cameron Smith Claim Dramatic Playoff Victory

Marc Leishman And Cameron Smith Claim Dramatic Playoff Victory

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith defeated Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel at the first playoff hole to claim a dramatic Zurich Classic of New Orleans victory.

Marc Leishman And Cameron Smith Claim Playoff Victory

The South African pair of Oosthuizen and Schwartzel had started the day with a slender one shot advantage over the pairings of Leishman and Smith, and Tony Finau and Cameron Champ.

With the final day format being foursomes (alternate shot) it was crucial that mistakes were limited on what was going to be an enthralling day.

The overnight leaders of Oosthuizen and Schwartzel started their final round well, producing birdies at the second and forth hole to keep their lead intact.

Zurich Classic

Oosthuizen still only has one PGA Tour victory to his name after the playoff heartbreak. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Their nearest challengers, Smith and Leishman, had also started their round well, making birdies at the second and seventh to remain just one shot back of the South African pair.

That lead would be even going into the back nine though, as Smith rolled in a short birdie putt at the par-3 ninth to tie things up at the top.

As the South Africans bogeyed the 10th, the Australian pairing would birdie the 11th to now sit two shots clear of Oosthuizen and Schwartzel.

However, this would signal the start of a crazy run of holes where both groups would take the lead at some point.

Making bogey at the 13th, Leishman and Smith soon found themselves one shot back of their opponents, as a bogey five at the 15th was cancelled out by a birdie three from the South Africans.

Then came yet more drama! With Smith finding the water with his tee shot, Leishman would chip in for an unlikely birdie at the 16th, and with Schwartzel playing a poor shot himself, the South Africans would rue a poor par.

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With the pairings all level with two to play, they would trade scrappy bogies at the 17th and then fail to get up-and-down at the last hole. This meant we would head back up the 18th for a playoff.

The South Africans would tee off first and it couldn't have started much worse, with Oosthuizen finding the water down the right hand side.

After seeing their opponents find the drink, the Australians would calmly find the green in three shots, eventually two putting for a par and securing Leishman's sixth PGA Tour victory, and Smith's third.

After the playoff, Smith said: "It's been such a cool week and we've played some really solid golf. The back nine was really tough and we hung in there and got it done."

Zurich Classic

Leishman wears a mullet wig as he walks with Smith during their third round. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Speaking about the eventful 16th hole, Leishman said: "It was actually a really good shot which sounds silly cause it found the water, but it was the right club and shot, but it just drifted on the wind.

"I wasn't walking up there thinking I want to give you a jab in the ribs or anything, I was concentrating on the chip and it was lucky enough to be on the upslope and it was just a lot of fun making that."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x