May 2: Former Asian Tour member Cameron Smith of Australia claimed his first PGA Tour title on Monday when he teamed up with Jonas Blixt to win the Zurich Classic on the fourth play-off hole.
The 23-year-old Smith, who was rookie of the year in 2014 in Asia, sank the winning birdie putt in the tournament which used a team format. The Aussie earned US$1.02 million for his win and a two-year exemption.
Smith and Blixt defeated Kevin Kistner and Scott Brown in extra time after being tied atop the leaderboard on 27-under-par late Sunday evening.
Smith played on the Asian Tour in 2014, enjoying an impressive rookie season where he finished fifth on the Order of Merit.
After earning his Tour card from Qualifying School where he finished tied 18th, Smith missed the cut in his first Asian Tour tournament in India before enjoying a stellar run of tournaments.
He finished second at the Indonesian Masters and then posted six straight top-10 finishes which culminated with a tied fifth finish at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, an event jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
The strong finish in Malaysia helped him earn playing status in America and his profile increased further with a tied fourth finish at the U.S. Open in 2015, which earned him an appearance at the Masters Tournament in 2016 where he finished equal 55th.
In the Volvo China Open, Korea’s Y.E. Yang, the first Asian Major winner, enjoyed a tied sixth finish after closing with a 66 to finish three shots behind winner Alexander Levy, who won in a play-off.
Countryman Soomin Lee finished a further two shots back after signing off with a 69 for a share of ninth position.