Smith, who has struggled since playing his way onto the Tour with some brilliant golf in 2015, had a forgettable second round but will otherwise be pleased with his best finish on the world's biggest circuit since his T4 at last year's US Open.
Having missed four cuts in his previous seven starts, and producing a best finish of T37, it was no surprise to close observers to see the Queenslander's turnaround in form at Pebble Beach.
A final round of 2-under-par 70 at the difficult Pebble Beach layout put him in the top third of scoring in the final round, testament to his grinding style of play on tough courses.
His final total of 9-under for the week was matched by both Matt Jones and Jason Day, the trio finishing T11 in one of the stronger fields assembled this year.
While both Day and Jones found the going tough Sunday, producing matching 1-over 73's, both will be pleased with some consistent golf during a week filled with distractions because of the pro-am format.
Jones' best was a third round 67 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club while Day's second round 66 at the same course was his highlight for the week, a scintillating 6-under back nine suggesting his best is not far away.
Of the 12 Australians who began the week seven made the cut including rookie Ryan Ruffels who was T10 after 36 holes in what has been an impressive US debut.
After making the cut at Torrey Pines two weeks ago the talented 17-year-old was the leading Australian with two rounds to go and despite not producing his best over the weekend has proved he has the game to compete at the top level.
A 6-over 78 in the final round was far from his best and while T60 will feel like a disappointment it is a worthy effort for both a teenager and a rookie.
Steven Bowditch (T41), Aaron Baddeley (T50) and Rhein Gibson (68th) were the other Australians to make the 54-hole cut while Geoff Ogilvy, Jarrod Lyle, Rod Pampling, Greg Chalmers and Cameron Percy all missed the final round.
Headlines at a glance
- Back to School 06.12.2016
- Griffin's Order of Merit opportunities 04.12.2016
- HIGHLIGHTS: Final round of the #AusPGA 04.12.2016
- Varner ends home dominance of the Australian PGA Championship 04.12.2016
- Video: Allenby previews 12th at Royal Pines 04.12.2016
- Video: Coletta and Lyle recap day three 03.12.2016
Back to School
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Griffin's Order of Merit opportunities
A long week, lots of calculations and a childhood dream.