Aussies Leishman and Smith win Zurich Classic in a playoff

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Marc Leishman, of Australia, left, and teammate Cameron Smith, of Australia, hold the trophy after winning the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Sunday, April 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

AVONDALE, La. – Cameron Smith's aggressiveness on the TPC Louisiana's water-lined 16th hole appeared to doom his team's chances of winning the Zurich Classic when his 294-yard drive bounced off an embankment near the green and into the water.

Smith's teammate, fellow Australian Marc Leishman, then flipped the script with a deft chip.

Leishman made birdie after a penalty drop in the rough, about 23 feet from the pin, pulling him and Smith into a tie with the South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel that wasn't broken until the Aussies won the first playoff hole Sunday.

"(Smith) hit a really good shot. It was the right club and the right shot, just drifted a little in the wind,” Leishman said. “I was just concentrating on my game and I was lucky enough to be on the up slope.

“It wasn’t the hardest chip in the world, but under the conditions, well, I won’t say it was a must-make, but it was certainly very helpful that it went in.”

Smith and Leishman ended it with a par on their second trip up the par-5 18th after Oosthuizen pushed his tee shot into the water and narrowly missed an 11-foot putt for par.

“Disappointed, but I felt we played well, gave ourselves loads of opportunities,” said Oosthuizen, who was seeking his first win since the 2010 British Open. “We have a second. I feel next time we’ll come back and get the first. But so a disappointing way to finish like that. ... It could have gone any way, the way we played in regulation.”

The Australians forced the playoff by shooting a 2-under 70 in alternate-shot play at the PGA Tour's lone regular-season team event for a four-round 268. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel began the round with a one-stroke lead, but shot a 71 with three pars and two bogeys.