Brendan Steele holds off Louis Oosthuizen for tense LIV Golf victory in Adelaide

American edges fast-finishing South African at Grange Golf ClubCameron Smith leads Ripper GC to teams championship in playoff

 

 

American Brendan Steele has held of a fast-finishing Louis Oosthuizen for a one-shot win at LIV Golf’s Adelaide tournament. Steele finished 18 under at the Grange Golf Club after firing a four-under 68 in Sunday’s final round.

 

South Africa’s Oosthuizen (17 under) charged with a blemish-free seven-under 65. Former world No 1 Jon Rahm also threatened with an eagle and six birdies in a superb 64 but fell short.

 

 

 

Australia’s Matt Jones (14 under) topped the standings for the locals, with Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman and Lucas Herbert all 13 under.

 

Smith started Sunday as the best-placed Australian at 11 under, three shots shy of overnight leader Steele. But the Queenslander bogeyed the third hole, a 222-metre par-3, and watched a series of putts shave the hole in his two-under 70.

 

Compatriot Jones started the tournament with a six-under 66 and then four-under 68. The 44-year-old got hot in a seven-hole stretch that reaped his four birdies for the day.

 

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Leishman carded a fine seven-under 65, while Herbert made a stunning comeback after a one-over 73 on the opening day. Herbert shot a seven-under 65 on consecutive days to finish with a flourish.

 

Some notable big names were off the pace, including Brooks Koepka (nine under), Bryson DeChambeau (10 under), Dustin Johnson (nine under), Phil Mickelson (seven under) and Sergio Garcia (six under).

 

While Smith missed out on the individual honours, the local favourite captained his all-Australian Ripper GC to a teams victory on home soil. The Ripper foursome – Smith, Jones, Leishman Herbert – won on the second hole of a nerve-jangling playoff.

 

Riding waves of raucous home crowd support, Smith’s team pipped the all-South African Stingers GC, led by Oosthuizen, in the first teams playoff in LIV history.

 

“This is unreal. It’s a dream come true for us,” Smith said. “We have been talking about it all year. It’s the tournament we wanted to win obviously. It’s just so good.”

 

On the initial two days of the tournament, only the top three players’ scores count. But on the final day, all four count and the Australians and South Africans were locked at 53 under – a record low LIV teams total.

 

Smith picked Leishman as his partner for a playoff of only two players per team and decided by aggregate scores on each hole. After both teams banked pars on the first extra hole, the Australians cashed in on a pair of Stingers blunders to win on the second hole. Fittingly, it was Smith, drained after a week in the spotlight, who completed the final putt.

 

 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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