Zurich Classic: Smith and Blixt outlast Kisner and Brown in Monday play-off

He was not the first Australian on the receiving end of a final-hole dagger at the New Orleans Classic.

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.

And it finally vanquished the feisty team of SC residents Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown.

"We knew we had to make it", Kisner, victor of one PGA Tour event, said of his unlikely attempt.

"I can't talk right now", Smith said to CBS.

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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. Smith and Blixt looked as if they were going to win in regulation as dusk started to settle, but Kisner dramatically chipped in for eagle on the 72nd hole to force a play-off.

In one week, albeit one long week, the Zurich Classic went from yet just another stroke play event on the PGA Tour that happens to be a couple of Bubba Watson tee shots away from some seriously world-class dining to an event that truly stands out.

"It's awesome isn't it", whispered Blixt before hugging the 23-year-old Australian around the neck. The final top 25 will earn PGA Tour cards.

Poulter and Ogilvy mixed four birdies and three bogeys for a 71, while Englishman Andrew "Beef" Johnston had a double bogey five at the 17th with American partner Kyle Reifers and shares 34th place at six under. But on their third trip down No. 18 of the morning - with one stop at the ninth, along the way - Smith put a wedge from 59 yards to within a few feet and Kisner and Brown both missed mid-range birdie attempts. The PLAYERS Championship begins on May 12 at TPC Sawgrass.

It's Smith's first win on the PGA Tour, and it keeps him on pace for what's already been a career year. In the first and third rounds, teammates alternated shots. Blixt, Kisner, and Brown all played safely and found the short stuff with their second shots and Smith found a green side bunker. That was especially the case on the best-ball second and final rounds as well as the playoff - players played their own balls and teams took the better score per hole.

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