Blixt-Smith team grabs win on 4th playoff hole

BlixtSmith-cropped

BlixtSmith-cropped

What happened was one of the most dramatic shots in the long history of New Orleans' PGA Tour event stretching back to the late 1930s: a 94½-foot chip shot that scorched across the 18th green, clanged against the pin and settled in the cup.

18, 18 and 9) in the best-ball format before Smith finally made birdie at the fourth playoff hole for his first career PGA Tour win (and fourth for Blixt).

Kisner and Brown, tied for second with Charley Hoffman-Nick Watney at the start of the day, tore up the course, rattling off eight straight birdies to open the round en route to a 28 on the front nine. "Just watching these last four days, I haven't seen anything that good in an extremely long time".

"I can't even talk right now", said an emotional Smith after getting over the line.

After three holes without a result, Smith stepped up on the par-five 18th and pitched his third shot to within a metre, sinking the birdie putt for his first title and Blixt's third. "We have another shot at it tomorrow, and we just have to leave this behind and try to go out there and make birdie or eagle on 18 tomorrow and try and win this tournament".

In 1990, Greg Norman was shocked when South African David Frost holed a winning bunker shot at the last, one of several bitter pills The Shark endured. The 33-year-old Blixt has won twice, but not since 2013.

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The two teams could not be separated before Sweden's Blixt and Australian Smith birdied the fourth play-off hole.

Brown and Kisner led by two strokes after their birdie on the eighth hole and maintained that gap until Smith's 34-foot putt on the undulating 12th green made it a one-stroke affair with six holes to play.

After losing in a play-off past year, the Emirates Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney (November 23-26) will be unfinished business as well. "For the Tour to unanimously decide that was the fair thing to do, puts me in a very different situation, being able to play the Players (Championship) and all the remaining events I would like to play".

Blixt tried to respond for Smith to the question of where the win would take the Golf Australia rookie squad member.

At 23 years old, Smith may have other PGA Tour wins in his future. In the second and final rounds, each player hit his own balls and each team took the best score per hole.

The final round will be a better ball format, in which Blixt and Smith excelled on Friday.

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