A 72nd hole birdie saved an even par final round for Cameron Smith who will be pleased overall with his week at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Smith has been in consistently good form since the beginning of the wraparound season last November and for the first three days at Waialae that strong play continued.
The Australian PGA champion headed to the final round in eighth position and was among the genuine contenders but couldn’t find his A game and eventually slipped to a T18 result.
While he won’t be pleased with his final round there is much to be positive about for Smith, who has lifted both the quality and consistency of his best play and is inside the top-20 on the FedEx Cup early in the season.
One of seven Australasians in the field it was Smith and fellow 2017 PGA TOUR winner Marc Leishman who led the charge over the opening 36 holes as they were joined in making the weekend field by Matt Jones and Monday qualifier Steve Allan.
Greg Chalmers, Aaron Baddeley and New Zealand’s Danny Lee all missed the final two rounds after the cut fell at 1-under the card.
Leishman and Smith in particular were among the contenders heading to the weekend, the Queenslander inside the top-10 with two rounds to play and Leishman a stroke further back and T17.
However as he had done the week previously, Leishman let his chance slip with an over par third round and fell from inside the top-20 to a share of 50th and out of the running.
A final round of 2-under did little to improve his standing and he eventually finished T47.
For Sydney’s Matt Jones it was another mid-field result in his fifth event since earning back status through the Web.com Finals at the end of last year.
The 2015 Australian Open winner recorded two missed cuts, a T43 and a T50 prior to Christmas and was T39 this week after posting an 8-under total.
The decent form sees him outside the top-150 in the early stages of the FedEx Cup though with the season now back in full swing he will be looking to pick up some momentum in the coming weeks.
For Allan it was a top effort to make the cut after surviving the qualifying process but after opening with rounds of 68 and 70 he stumbled to a 72 Saturday which dropped him to the tail end of the field.
A final round 69 saw him finish T69 at 1-under for the 72 holes.
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