SYDNEY: Australia’s Cameron Davis shot a brilliant final round of seven-under-par 64 to win the 102nd Australian Open after a wild finish to the tournament on Sunday.
Regarded as one of Australia’s most promising young players, the 22-year-old charged home to beat his more experienced rivals and capture his first professional title.
With the blustery conditions testing the nerves and skill of all the players, Davis birdied the last hole to finish at 11-under-par and win by one stroke from Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and compatriot Matt Jones, the 2015 champion.
Cameron Smith, the only Australian to win on the PGA Tour this year, finished fourth at nine-under after closing with a 68, while overnight leader Jason Day faded to fifth at eight-under after shooting a 73.
“It’s obviously a little bit disappointing to come out and not finish it, but I’ve just got to kind of look back on it and see what I need to do for next time,” Day said.
“You can’t be perfect all the time. I played three terrific rounds actually, the first three rounds, and I just didn’t put it together on Sunday.”
In a thrilling final round, which saw four different players hold the lead at various stages, Davis timed his run to perfection to claim victory.
Day led from the outset but slipped back down the leader board when he hit his second shot from a fairway bunker on the ninth hole into the water for a double bogey.
Day’s playing partner Lucas Herbert briefly took over as leader but made three bogeys and a double in his last 10 holes to fall out of contention and eventually finish tied for sixth.
Blixt recovered from a double bogey on the ninth to reel off four birdies in five holes and join Davis in a share of the lead, but missed a 15-foot putt on the last to force a playoff.
“I haven’t been in this position (for a while), so it was kind of fun being in it,” Blixt said.
“I felt really comfortable the last four holes and tried to make a run at it and it didn’t happen.”