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Posted April 26, 2021 in "Watts" In The Bag by Tom Brassell
By The Associated Press
AVONDALE, La. — Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman outlasted Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in a playoff that capped a tight and tense final round Sunday.
Smith and Leishman won with a par on their second trip up the par-5 18th after Oosthuizen pushed his tee shot into the water and narrowly missed an 11-foot putt for bogey.
The Australians forced the playoff by shooting a 2-under 70 in alternate-shot play at the PGA TOUR’s lone regular-season team event. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel began the round with a one-stroke lead, but shot a 71 with three pars and two bogeys.
It’s Smith’s third career victory — second at the Zurich team event — and best result since tying for second at the pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters last November. It also was his sixth top 10 since the current TOUR season started last October.
Smith’s last victory came at the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii.
It was Leishman’s sixth career victory, his best result since tying for fifth at the Masters this month and his first win since the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open.
The climactic finish capped off a compelling duel between two teams that teed off together in the final grouping and took turns holding leads that never grew to more than two strokes.
After Smith made birdie putts of 9 feet on the par-5 seventh and 7 feet on the par-3 ninth to pull his team even atop the leaderboard, the Aussies went in front on 10, when Schwartzel’s approach found the bunker and his team two-putted for bogey.
Smith and Leishman took a two-shot lead with a birdie on the par-5 11th, where Leishman drove 307 yards into the fairway and Smith sent the team’s second shot 265 yards to the green, setting up a birdie.
But they gave a stroke back on 13 when Leishman’s drive went into the TPC Louisiana’s trademark, towering and old-growth cypress three that stands alone like a monolith in the fairway. That forced the team to take a drop that led to a bogey.
The South Africans moved back into the lead on 15, where Schwartzel followed up Oosthuizen’s 205-yard approach shot with a nearly 15-foot putt for birdie, while Smith, whose approach had fallen short of the green, narrowly missed a 13-foot putt for par.
Smith then bounced his booming, 294-yard tee shot on 16 into the water, but it went out of bounds close enough to the green that Leishman was able to hit a chip on his team’s third shot and rolled it in from more than 23 feet for birdie to tie Ooshuizen and Schwartzel at 21 under.
Both teams bogeyed the par-3 17th to head to the par-5 18th tied at 20 under.
Check out “Watts” in Marc’s and Cam’s bags below.
Driver: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond DS (10.5 degrees loft) – Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X
4-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (16.5 degrees @15.5) – Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X
Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro (20 degrees @19) – Shaft: KBS Tour Proto Hybrid 105 X
Utility: Callaway Apex UT 2016 (24 degrees) – Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X (hard-stepped once)
Irons: Callaway Apex TCB (4-9) – Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X (hard-stepped once)
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw (46-10S, 54-10S @54.75, and 60-08T @ 59.75 degrees) – Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Wide S – Shaft: Red Stroke Lab
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X (2020)
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10 degrees) -Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow 60 6.5 TX
3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees) -Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Platinum 8F5 X
7-wood: Titleist TSi2 (21 degrees) -Shaft: UST Elements Red 8F5 (X)
Irons: Titleist U500 (4), Titleist T100 Black (5-9) – Shaft: KBS Tour 130 Custom Matte Black X
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M), WedgeWorks 60T – Shafts: KBS Tour 130 Custom Matte Black (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Onyx X100 52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x