Zurich Classic: Smith and Blixt outlast Kisner and Brown in Monday play-off

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Cameron Smith knocked in a three-foot birdie putt on the fourth play-off hole to win the Zurich Classic with playing partner Jonas Blixt.

Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown pushed Smith and Blixt all the way as six-hours of weather delays forced the tournament in to a Monday finish for the second year in a row.

Neither pair were able to reproduce the spectacular display of golf as they had done on Sunday, and while the first three sudden-death holes offered up chances for each pairing, lacklustre putting meant that pars appeared to be the order of the day.

Having played the 18th hole twice and the ninth once, the two-men teams headed back towards the 18th for what would be their fourth and final hole. 

As Kisner and Brown's third approach shots to the par-five weren't able to find a close enough look, it was the Australian-Swedish duo that finally managed to get the birdie- and for Smith, a first PGA Tour victory.

While Blixt had already notched up two PGA-tour titles prior to this win at the Zurich Classic, the biggest reward undoubtedly came for Smith. For the 23-year-old Australian it means exemption through to the 2018-2019 season and eligibility for both the Players this month and the PGA Championship. 

“I can’t even talk right now,” said Smith after their victory, leaving his playing partner to articulate what it means for his forseeable future. 

"It's going to be a lot of fun for him" Blixt said. "He gets to pick his own schedule. Seeing how this guy plays golf, the sky is the limit for him. I've not seen anything that good in a very long time"

"I feel like I had the best partner all week. He's going to be a superstar"

 

 

The Zurich Classic trialled the new team format this week in the hope of bringing a stronger field than previous years in addition to a more exciting tournament set-up. On both accounts, it can firmly declare itself a success. 

Huge weather delays during Sunday's round failed to stop Kisner and Brown, carding eight birdies in their first eight holes, but it was this chip-in eagle from Kisner on the 18th hole that thrilled the crowd and tied them at the top on 27-under-par with Blixt and Smith.

Many had tipped the pairings of Justin Rose/ Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler/ Jason Day to make the biggest impact on the field, but as both pairs failed to make the cut, Smith and Blixt dominated. 

The good friends held the lead after both the second and third rounds, and while they momentarily lost it to Kisner and Brown midway through Sunday - they quickly reclaimed it, along with a slighly delayed victory and the Zurich Classic trophy.

What's in the bag of the Zurich Champions

Jonas Blixt 

Driver: TaylorMade M2 (Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 6X), 10.5 degrees

3-wood:
 Cobra King F6, 14.5 degrees

5-wood
: Cobra King F6 Baffler, 18 degrees

Irons (3-6)
Mizuno MP 25; (7-PW): Mizuno MP 5

Wedges:
 Titleist Vokey SM6 (54, 60 degrees)

Putter
TaylorMade Spider Tour Limited

Ball:
 Titleist Pro V1x

Cameron Smith 

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (UST Mamiya Elements Chrome proto), 10.5 degrees

3-wood
Titleist 917F2, 16.5 degrees

Irons (3-9): Titleist 716 T-MB

Wedges
Titleist Vokey SM6 (52, 56, 60 degrees)

Putter: 
Scotty Cameron by Titleist 009

Ball:
 Titleist Pro V1x

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