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Smith claims Zurich Classic for maiden win

Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt have won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. (Photo: Getty Images)
Queensland’s Cameron Smith has broken through for his maiden PGA Tour victory, the 23-year-old holing a short birdie putt at the fourth extra hole to grab victory for he and teammate Jonas Blixt at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Smith set up the winning putt with an almost perfect 50-metre pitch, a shot not too dissimilar to the one which looked to have sealed victory in near darkness the night before.

But after Smith’s heroics the previous evening, he and Blixt were stunned when Kevin Kisner, trailing by one with partner Scott Brown as the group played the 18th, holed an electrifying shot of his own to draw level and force the tournament into Monday.

Darkness made a play-off impossible Sunday evening, forcing the players to return Monday morning at 8am to break the deadlock.

But that seemed unlikely after three holes with both teams, playing the same best-ball format of the day before, could manage no better than par at each hole.

Smith finally broke the impasse with his magical up-and-down to the delight of the small crowd on hand at the course.

“Um….I can’t even talk,” he told CBS commentator Dottie Pepper immediately after the round.

Smith, 23, has long been considered one of Australia’s most promising prospects and combined brilliantly with Blixt in the inaugural team event.

The pair took a four-shot lead into the final round but were run down by Kisner and Brown who made birdies at 10 of the first 11 holes Sunday.

Smith squared the ledger with a superb birdie at the par-3 17th and looked to have sealed the deal with his final hole birdie before Kisner’s clutch pitch brought all four players back Monday.

Smith earns a start at The PLAYERS in two weeks’ time as well as a spot in the field at the year’s final major, the PGA Championship, courtesy of the win.

He is also $1.02 million richer and will be fully exempt on the PGA Tour until 2019.

Cameron Smith knocks it tight.He could be putting for his first TOUR win.@Zurich_Classic#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/1DFN5lrM2w

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 1, 2017

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