Cameron Smith will fly the Australian flag and take his shot at a $20m payday in this week’s season-ending Tour Championship as the lone Aussie to make the PGA Tour grand final.
The Queenslander will start the 30-player event five shots behind Patrick Cantlay, who made a series of stunning putts in an epic six-hole playoff battle with Bryson DeChambeau to win the BMW Championship.
Smith finished in a tie for 34th, but his previous results in the FedEx Playoffs left him ranked fifth going into the final event in Atlanta, which is played with a staggered leaderboard based on the points list, with a massive payday on offer.
Twice in his past three events, Smith has stood on the 18th tee in a share of the lead only to hit an errant drive that cost him any chance at victory.
Those two shots, the second one coming in a playoff with Tony Finau at last week’s Northern Trust Open, cost Smith just under $3m in prizemoney.
But he gets his chance to make up for that in the elite field this week that won’t feature fellow Aussie Marc Leishman for the first time since 2016.
The Victorian finished 51st at the BMW Championship and missed a return to the final event. Cameron Davis was the next best Australian in the FedEx Cup standings, finishing 37th after a breakout season that included his maiden PGA Tour win.
“That‘s what we’re out to do. We’re in it for the FedExCup. It’s the biggest prize,” Smith said.
“It’s what everyone wants to do out on the PGA Tour. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t popped into my mind a few times.”
Australian Open winner Matt Jones also failed to progress to the last event of the season that will only feature one Australian for the first time since it became the final of the FedExCup playoffs in 2007.