Cameron Smith, an Australian, had his Olympic medal aspirations cruelly dashed after making a bogey on the final hole in Tokyo.
C. Smith Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
After a scorching final round that saw Smith move into medal contention, a bogey on the 18th hole ended his chances of winning.
As a result of Xander Schauffele’s thrilling final-hole comeback, he tied for 10th place.
The American started strong, making three birdies in his opening five holes en route to a -18 score and a three-shot lead.
However, he was penalised a stroke after hitting a wild drive on hole 14. After a disappointing final round of bogey, he found himself tied for the lead with the unexpected Rory Sabbatini at -17.
The Slovak’s remarkable 10-under-par round broke the Olympic record.
Before another poor tee shot on 18, which had him scrambling, Schauffele regained his calm and got up and down from the short par-four 17th to birdie and pull one stroke clear.
He made a brilliant chip out and approach shot that came within a few feet of the hole.
Schauffele kept his cool to make the winning putt and win gold while vividly recalling his embarrassing meltdown at the 2021 Masters.
For the 27-year-old, who had gone more than two years without a professional victory, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
His nine top-10 finishes in the Majors include this year’s Masters, where he collapsed with a late triple bogey. He finally said he “choked” because of it.
Sabbatini won silver and was joined in a playoff by a group of seven all-stars, with the latter two ultimately prevailing.
After the first three holes of the playoff, five players, including Japan’s Hideki Mastuyama, Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, and Great Britain’s Paul Casey, were eliminated, leaving just the United States’ Collin Morikawa and Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan to play the 18th hole for the championship.
Morikawa’s second shot landed in the bunker, where it was lodged into the sloping front face. He flicked the ball onto the green, but his long putt attempt slid wide of the hole.
Then Pan, who was ranked 208th, made a putt of his own to secure par and the bronze medal. Pan Cheng-tsung, who shot a three-over 74 in the first round and finished 60th out of 69 golfers, showed surprising resiliency by shooting a two-under 71 in the second.