Aussie Smith first to fire four Masters rounds in 60s

Augusta (United States) (AFP) –


Australia's Cameron Smith didn't come away with a green jacket from Sunday's final round of the 84th Masters, but he still managed a feat never achieved by Augusta National's legends.

The 27-year-old from Brisbane fired a three-under par 69 to share second, five strokes back of winner Dustin Johnson and level with South Korean Im Sung-jae on 15-under 273.

Smith became the first golfer in Masters history to break 70 in all four rounds of the Masters, having opened with a 67 and followed with rounds of 68 and a pair of 69s.

Tiger Woods never did it. Nor did Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead or Gene Sarazen either.

"That's really cool," Smith said. "I had no idea starting today that I needed to do that. I honestly can't believe it.

"Got to put it down to just scrambling and digging deep. There was a few times throughout the week where I could have let it slip away, and it didn't."

A bogey at the par-4 11th had him on pace for a closing 70 until Smith birdied the par-5 15th and parred to the clubhouse to complete the feat.

"It would have been cool to do that and win," Smith said. "I'd take 15-under around here the rest of my career and I might win a couple.

"So yeah, it's just the way it is. I felt as though I didn't quite have my longest stuff this week, but my scrambling was what kept me in it."

Smith closed within two strokes of Johnson on the front nine but could never shrink the world number one's lead any further.

"I needed to shoot 3- or 4-under on that back nine with the wind the way it was. It got pretty tricky out there," Smith said. "At least make him think about it. It wasn't to be."

But Smith was proud of his scrappy performance.

"Massive confidence booster," Smith said. "My scrambling, my chipping and putting was unreal this week, probably the best it has ever been. So a lot of good stuff, but also a lot of stuff to work on."

Korea's Im grabbed a piece of Masters history as well, the lowest total score for a player making his Masters debut.

"This is definitely going to be a memorable Masters for me, not only because this is my first appearance, but my initial goal at the start of the week was just to make a cut and get into the weekend," Im said.

"To finish tied for second is unbelievable."