pcloudy.png
Sunday July 3rd, 2022 1:25PM

Smith has 1 iffy swing, nightmarish finish at Masters

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Cameron Smith closed his eyes once, closed them twice, then let his club slip from his right hand.

He knew right away.

Before Smith's tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the Masters splashed into Rae's Creek — taking the 28-year-old Australian's hopes of winning his first major along with it — he was already looking away in disgust.

Things didn't get any better from there. His pitch shot from the penalty area sailed over the green. Another iffy pitch and two putts later, he tapped in for a triple bogey that dropped him six shots back of eventual champion Scottie Scheffler. Smith, the world's sixth-ranked player, posted a 1-over 73 to finish tied for third with Shane Lowry.

The Brisbane-born Smith said he had hoped the folks back home would wake around 5 a.m. to watch him take aim at tracking down Scheffler. The early returns provided those who tuned in with a noncaffeinated jolt. He birdied each of the first two holes to trim a three-shot deficit to just one.

It would be as close as Smith would get. Scheffler chipped in for birdie on the par-4 third while Smith bogeyed from nearly the exact same spot. A bogey at the par-3 fourth dropped Smith four back. He calmly drained a 15-foot birdie on the difficult par-4 11th to move to three shots behind.

The momentum lasted all of five minutes.

The treacherous 12th is where countless hopes of victories at Augusta National have gone to die. Smith's leaky tee shot that never made it all the way across Rae's Creek added him to a list that includes Jordan Spieth in 2016, Greg Norman in 1996 and Francesco Molinari in 2019.

Clearly rattled, the player known for his mullet haircut seemed to let his anger get ahold of him. He slammed his club into the turf after pitching onto the 13th green well past the hole, leading to a par when he desperately needed a birdie.

His tee shot on the 14th went into the trees on the left, leading to a bogey. In the span of 20 minutes, what looked potentially doable quickly morphed first to doubtful, then impossible.

While Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa were up ahead splashing in birdies from the greenside bunker at the 18th to leapfrog Smith on the leaderboard, he was bending his driver across his shoulders in frustration, the second-hottest golfer on the planet behind Scheffler stumbling under the pressure of the back nine at Augusta National.

The erratic round capped four days of wild swings for Smith. He arrived at the Masters well-rested, three weeks removed from a gritty one-stroke win at The Players Championship, then started with with a 4-under 68 to trail Sungjae Im by just one.

An opening 39 on Friday led to a 2-over 74, leaving him six shots off Scheffler's pace. He responded with a 68 in the unusual spring chill, the best round of a borderline miserable day to get him within three of Scheffler.

A duel between the two players who came in having won five tournaments combined this year appeared in the offing after Smith's early birdies Sunday.

It quickly fell apart after that hot start.

___

More AP Masters: https://apnews.com/hub/the-masters

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Smith has 1 iffy swing, nightmarish finish at Masters
Cameron Smith's hopes of winning his first major vanished on the 12th hole during the final round of the Masters
7:16PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Nets beat Pacers to lock up 7th, host play-in game Tuesday
Kyrie Irving scored 35 points, Kevin Durant had 20 points, a career-high 16 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets locked up seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 134-126 victory over the Indiana Pacers
7:06PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Live Updates | Scheffler captures 1st major with Masters win
Scottie Scheffler has captured his first major championship with a three-shot victory at the Masters
7:05PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Hawks beat Rockets 130-114 but stay in 9th spot for play-in
Trae Young had 28 points and 11 assists as the Atlanta Hawks wrapped up the regular season with a 130-114 win over the Houston Rockets — a victory that didn’t improve their postseason position
6:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kluber looks good, Rays beat Orioles 8-0 to complete sweep
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber looked good in his debut with the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching into the fifth inning to help the defending AL East champions beat Baltimore 8-0 and complete a season-opening sweep of the Orioles
6:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Live Updates | McIlroy's 8-under 64 vaults him into 2nd
Rory McIlroy finished with a flourish at the Masters
6:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Live Updates | Smith gets within 1 of Scheffler at Masters
Cameron Smith has pulled within one shot of Scottie Scheffler’s lead at the Masters
3:18PM ( 4 hours ago )
Live Updates | Tiger Woods finishes 13 over at the Masters
Tiger Woods walked up the 18th fairway, removed his cap and acknowledged roars from the patrons at Augusta National
3:01PM ( 4 hours ago )
Live Updates | Masters rookie Min Woo Lee making Sunday run
Masters rookie Min Woo Lee is off to a hot start in the final round of the tournament
2:52PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Golf
Masters notebook: McIlroy's wait for Grand Slam to continue
Rory McIlroy’s wait to complete the career Grand Slam will extend into at least 2023
8:29PM ( 22 hours ago )
Live Updates | Scheffler escapes trouble, leads Masters by 3
Despite big trouble on the 18th hole, Scottie Scheffler has salvaged a 1-under 71 that keeps him on top heading to the final round of the Masters
7:40PM ( 23 hours ago )
Live Updates | Smith has best round of day at tough Masters
Cameron Smith has posted the best round of the day in very difficult conditions at Augusta National
7:03PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - PGA
Nets beat Pacers to lock up 7th, host play-in game Tuesday
Kyrie Irving scored 35 points, Kevin Durant had 20 points, a career-high 16 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets locked up seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 134-126 victory over the Indiana Pacers
7:06PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Live Updates | Scheffler captures 1st major with Masters win
Scottie Scheffler has captured his first major championship with a three-shot victory at the Masters
7:05PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Live Updates | Zelenskyy: Next few days of war are crucial
Ukraine’s president has warned his nation that the coming week will be as crucial as any in the war
6:50PM ( 31 minutes ago )
In France, it's Macron vs. Le Pen, again, for presidency
Incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron will face far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in a winner-takes-all runoff for the presidency
6:44PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Cruz homers, keys Nats over Mets 4-2 with 8th-inning hit
Nelson Cruz hit his 450th home run and added a tiebreaking two-run single in three-run eighth inning that lifted the Washington Nationals over the Mets 4-2 and prevented New York from an opening four-game sweep
6:43PM ( 38 minutes ago )