By Jake Geiger, Staff Writer
After a rainy, delay-filled Players Championship that finished Monday night, Australian golfer Cameron Smith came out on top after finishing at 13 under par.
He birdied the first five holes and finished a stellar six under par for the final round to finish one stroke ahead of runner-up Anirban Lahiri.
Smith’s win earned him a paycheck of $3.6 million for the weekend. It is the fourth and biggest win of Smith’s young career.
At 28 years old, Smith now ranks the 10th best golfer in the world. He also grappled with some adversity on the last hole, as he hit it into the water and needed a bogey to secure the solo win.
He hit an excellent penalty shot to secure the victory and avoid Lahiri from having an easy chance to tie.
Lahiri did have a chance on Hole 18 right after Smith’s bogey to tie, but he fell short with a par. It was also a historic weekend for Lahiri, though, as it was his highest finish in a tournament yet.
Lahiri is currently ranked 322nd in the world, and his second-place finish was generally unexpected.
Veterans Paul Casey, Kevin Kisner and Keegan Bradley all had solid final rounds to round out the top five.
Other notable names to have solid weekends include Dustin Johnson, who had an eagle on the final hole from 90 yards out to receive a sneaky top 10 finish.
Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy finished at three under par to tie for 33rd in the field. Many of the top 15 players struggled, including Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schaueffele, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler.
The 2022 Players Championship will be remembered for its putrid weather, as there were multiple rain delays, extreme wind and frigid conditions — especially surprising given its Florida location.
It was a great win for Smith, who finally broke through in a big tournament and looks poised to make some noise in the upcoming majors. The next major is the Masters, which will be held from April 7-10.