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
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.
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.
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.”
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.”