Golf: Smith misses easy putt on final hole in Australian PGA C'ship but holds off Zunic in play-off to lift title

Cameron Smith started three shots behind overnight leader Jordan Zunic but stormed into contention with five birdies and a bogey on the front nine.
Cameron Smith started three shots behind overnight leader Jordan Zunic but stormed into contention with five birdies and a bogey on the front nine.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Cameron Smith clinched the Australian PGA Championship title after beating Jordan Zunic on the second hole of a sudden-death play-off at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast on Sunday.

Smith had squandered the chance to wrap up the title in regulation by missing a putt for par on the 18th hole.

Both golfers parred the first play-off hole and with Zunic's par putt at the next lipping out, Smith had a simple tap-in from about two metres to win.

"Bit of a grind out there today," Smith said at the trophy presentation. "I had my chance on the 72nd but misread the putt so it's nice to get that done.

"It has been a really good year."

The 24-year-old had taken a one-shot lead at 19-under heading into the final hole after a birdie on No. 17. Smith and Zunic finished locked on 18-under 270 after shooting 68 and 71 respectively.

Second-round leader Adam Bland finished third a stroke back after signing for a 68 in the co-sanctioned Australasian and European Tour event.

Smith had started three shots behind overnight leader Zunic but stormed into contention with five birdies and a bogey on the front nine.

Zunic, who shot a course-record equalling 64 on Saturday, picked up two shots on the front nine, only for Smith to charge to within a shot of the lead.

The 25-year-old Zunic then dropped a shot on the par-four 10th to fall back into a tie at 18-under.

Bland threatened when he made a birdie on No. 16 to get to 17-under but the left-hander's tee shot on the 17th went wide left.

Smith and Zunic attacked the pin from better positions to set up birdie opportunities, which Smith capitalised on to take a one-shot lead heading to the final hole.

He had a short par putt to seize the title but it slid just wide and Zunic forced the play-off when he made par.