Apr 26th, 2021
Aussies win Zurich Classic on Anzac Day
Smith and Leishman win playoff with Oosthuizen and Schwartzel
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
"Yeah, that's pretty special. I was actually speaking to my old man last night and he said it's a really good omen for us guys being up the top of the leaderboard on Anzac Day," said Smith.
"I know my family went out to a dawn service yesterday morning and paid their respects, so maybe we have got a bit of good karma out there today because of that."
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance that originally honoured members of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War One. It now includes all Australians and New Zealanders who served in conflicts.
It had been nip and tuck between the two teams that teed off together in the final grouping, with the Australians and South Africans trading blows down the straight.
Smith and Leishman took a two-shot lead with a birdie on the par-five 11th but slipped up with a bogey at the 13th when Leishman found trouble off the tee.
The South Africans grabbed the lead on the 15th, where Schwartzel holed from fifteen feet for a birdie and Smith missed his thirteen-foot putt for par.
A pivotal moment came at the short par four 16th hole where Smith took on the green but found the water. However, the ball entered the water only a few yards from the green and following a drop Leishman proceeded to chip in for an unlikely birdie.
Both pairings bogeyed the short 17th and parred the last to finish on twenty-under. The playoff was settled almost immediately when Louis Oosthuizen uncharacteristically found the water off the 18th tee. A par was good enough to win it for Smith and Leishman.
It's Smith's third career victory and the second at the Zurich team event and his best result since tying for second at the pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters last November.
It was a sixth career victory for Leishman, who tied for fifth at the Masters earlier this month. His last victory came at the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open.
Peter Uihlein and Richy Werenski shot a final round 67 to leap up the leaderboard from eighteenth to third.
Billy Horschel and Sam Burns tied for fourth with Brandt Snedeker and Keith Mitchell and Brendan Steele and Kegan Bradley.
Defending champions from 2019, Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm, finished with a 70 to finish alone in seventh at seventeen-under.