AUGUSTA, GA. – Cameron Smith broke into pro golf looking like a kid who had gotten lost on a golf course. Short and skinny, the Australian proved himself a world-class golfer, recording two top-10 finishes in majors.
At 27, his look has changed. Smith, with a thick mullet sticking out of his golf cap, and his caddie, with long hair and a thick beard, look like the guitarists in an AC/DC tribute band.
Sunday, Smith shot a final-round 69 to finish tied for second at the Masters along with Sungjae Im. Smith was masterful around the greens and became the first player in history to play all four Masters rounds in under 70. With scores of 67, 68, 69 and 69, his 15 under would have won most Masters.
“That’s really cool,” he said. “I honestly can’t believe it. You’ve just got to put it down to just scrambling and digging deep. There was a few times through the week where I could have let it slip away and I didn’t.”
He got up and down from off the green on 18 to make history.
In other notable performances:
• Im, playing in the final threesome, shot 69 as well, to finish at 15 under. That’s the lowest score ever by a player in his Masters debut, beating Jason Day’s 12 under in 2011.
• Tiger Woods made a septuple-bogey 10 on the par-3 12th. He had never made a 10 before. In fact, golf statistician Justin Ray noted that Woods played 23,789 holes on the PGA Tour before he made his first 10.
Woods hit his tee shot into Rae’s Creek, had his next shot spin back into the water, hit his next shot over the green, and hit that shot back into the water.
Then Woods made birdies on five of his last six holes. He finished with a 76, and finished the tournament tied for 38th, a year after winning the Masters.
He had never played the final six holes in 5 under before.
He said the winds fooled him on No. 12 “and from there I hit a lot more shots and had a lot more experiences there in Rae’s Creek. This is unlike any other sport in which you’re so alone out there, and you have to figure it out, and you have to fight, and no one is going to pull you off the bump, and you just have to figure it out, and I did coming in.”
His final round made what he did last year, winning the Masters despite physical ailments, even more remarkable. “My body just has moments where it doesn’t work like it used to,” Woods said.
• Bernhard Langer became the oldest player to make a Masters cut, at 63, then shot a 71 on Sunday to finish in a tie for 29th.
“I felt right in the middle of it, right in the thick of it, and I got to experience some of the longest drivers in the game,” he said. “It’s quite amazing. Different game.”
• Rory McIlroy shot a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for fifth at 11 under. He still needs a Masters victory to complete the career Grand Slam. A first-round 75 kept him out of contention.
McIlroy said of Dustin Johnson winning the Masters: “Since coming out of lockdown he’s been the best player in the world.’’