Cameron Smith defends Australian PGA Championship


Cameron Smith held off fellow Australian Marc Leishman to become the first person since Robert Allenby in 2001 to successfully defend his Australian PGA Championship title.

Smith held a three shot lead heading in to the final round at RACV Royal Pines Resort, but with two bogeys and just one birdie on his front nine he found himself overtaken by Leishman and two shots adrift by the turn. 

From there, the 25-year-old rallied. Both men birdied the par-five 12th but Smith made a 12-footer for birdie on the 13th to get to within one shot and a costly bogey on the 14th from Leishman drew the men back level at the top of the leaderboard. 

Smith gained the lead with an impressive up and down on hole 15 after finding himself on the 16th tee-box with his second shot, and Leishman added his second dropped shot of the day a hole later. 

In the end, Smith needed two pars over the final two holes to sign for a back-nine 33 to claim the title by two shots over the World No.21 in what was just his 20th European Tour event. 

"I was expecting Leish to come out and give it a good crack today," Smith said after his win.

"It's always hard going up against a mate and trying to win a golf tournament. I've been in this situation before and I've had it happen to me as well. I'm sure we'll have a beer over Christmas or when I see him next and we'll be back to being mates.

"I've definitely improved a lot over the last year. I've put in a lot of hard work and I've just stuck to my process goals.

"I would love to get into the top 20 by the end of this year, it's definitely the next goal. I think that's the next big step for myself, to get in there and get myself in a lot of situations where I can win golf tournaments."

Behind Leishman were Australian Matthew Miller and England's Ross McGowan, who finished in joint-third after producing a course record 63 on Sunday to end the tournament on 11-under-par, five shots behind Smith.