Cameron Smith has closed out his PGA TOUR season with a payout in excess of half a million dollars but it was heartbreak for West Australian Curtis Luck at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in Indiana.
The culmination of the two main tours for men in the US saw riches realised and dreams come true as Smith shot a final round of 1-under 69 to end the FedEx Cup Playoffs in a three-way tie for 14th while Lucas Herbert officially received his card to join the PGA TOUR next season.
Starting the week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta in fifth position, Smith was holding firm at the halfway mark but fell to a tie for 13th with a third round of 3-over 73.
He dropped one further position on Sunday as Patrick Cantlay held off Jon Rahm to claim the $US15 million prize pool by a single stroke and could console himself with a cheque for $US583,750 and a 2020/2021 season total of $US6,435,617.
“It’s been pretty good. Been really good of late, just a bit of a shame this week,” Smith said when asked to sum up his season that included a win at the Zurich Classic, two runner-up finishes and eight top-10s.
“I just didn’t hit my driver good enough. You need to hit the fairways around here to make a score. East Lake hasn’t really been my friend in the past. It still isn’t.”
“My short game, especially my scoring irons are still unreal. Just the longer stuff that I really need to get better at.”
Given the hectic finish to the season that included representing his country at the Tokyo Olympics last month, Smith now intends to spend a few weeks unwinding with a little help from his father, Des.
“I’ve got five weeks off and my old man has come over from Australia, so lots of fishing and lots of sitting down and a few beers in there as well,” he added.
“I’m going to play three or four in the fall, a couple in Vegas for sure and thinking about Houston and RSM.
The next season of the PGA TOUR kicks off next week in California at the Fortinet Championship where Lucas Herbert can join the field as a full member for the first time.
Tied for 45th at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship saw the Victorian end the Finals in 14th position and secure one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards on offer.
Curtis Luck began the week in 24th position but a missed cut saw him fall to 31st and a return to the Korn Ferry Tour next year while Aaron Baddeley (36th) and Rhein Gibson (50th) will have limited status on the main tour.
The leader at the halfway mark, Min Woo Lee fell to a tie for 12th at the European Tour’s DS Automobiles Italian Open in Rome, Dimi Papadatos and Kiwi Josh Geary both finished inside the top 10 at the British Golf Challenge on the Challenge Tour while Stephanie Kyriacou remains second on the Ladies European Tour points list after finishing tied for 14th at the Creekhouse Ladies Open in Sweden.
East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
Winner Patrick Cantlay (USA) 67-66-67-69—269 $US15m
T14 Cameron Smith 68-68-73-69—278 $583,750
DS Automobiles Italian Open
Marco Simone GC, Rome, Italy
Winner Nicolai Hojgaard (DEN) 66-69-65-71—271 €485,330
T12 Min Woo Lee 64-68-71-73—276 €47,153
T52 Scott Hend 65-74-70-75—284 €11,142
MC Wade Ormsby 72-71—143
MC Ryan Fox 7 6-74—150
WD Maverick Antcliff 69-69—138
Japan Golf Tour
Fujizakura Country Club, Yamanashi
Winner Shugo Imahira (JAP) 71-69-68-64—272 ¥22m
T20 Anthony Quayle 73-70-71-71—285 ¥1.216m
T59 Scott Strange 72-74-73-78—297 ¥255,200
MC Todd Sinnott 73-74—147
MC David Bransdon 74-79—153
MC Dylan Perry 80-77—157
Korn Ferry Tour
Korn Ferry Tour Championship
Victoria National Golf Club, Newburgh, Indiana
Winner Joseph Bramlett (USA) 70-68-65-65—268 $US180,000
T20 Danny Lee 73-67-70-70—280 $10,619
T41 Rhein Gibson 74-69-69-71—283 $4,900
T45 Lucas Herbert 75-68-72-69—284 $4,550
T64 Greg Chalmers 73-67-78-71—289 $3,970
T64 Aaron Baddeley 72-72-76-69—289 $3,970
MC Brett Drewitt 75-72—147
MC Curtis Luck 72-76—148
British Challenge Presented by Modest! Golf Management
The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England
Winner Hugo Leon (CHI) 65-66-69-69—269 €33,547
T7 Josh Geary 69-70-68-66—273 €5,283
T7 Dimitrios Papadatos 68-69-69-67—273 €5,283
T15 Blake Windred 68-70-71-66—275 €3,145
T18 Daniel Hillier 73-68-68-67—276 €2,516
T49 Daniel Gaunt 72-69-70-72—283 €901
MC Deyen Lawson 72-73—145
Ladies European Tour
Creekhouse Ladies Open
Kristianstad Golf Club (Åhus Ostra Cse), Sweden
Winner Maja Stark (SWE) 72-65-71-71—279
T14 Stephanie Kyriacou 68-73-77-74—292 €7,150
T55 Whitney Hillier 74-76-72-81—303 €1,386
MC Amy Walsh 74-77—151
LET Access Series
Flumserberg Ladies Open
Gams-Werdenberg Golf Club, Switzerland
Winner Nina Pegova (RUS) 71-69-65—205 €6,400
T24 Kristalle Blum 77-69-70—216 €576
T61 Victoria Fricot 73-75-79—227 €270