THE PLAYERS Championship: Cameron Smith wins Sawgrass shootout after birdie blitz

The Aussie secured the biggest win of his career with some thrilling golf in the final round to finish one shot clear of Indian Anirban Lahiri.

Cameron Smith blasted 10 birdies in a final round 6-under-par 66 to come from behind and win the prestigious PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida by a shot from Anirban Lahiri.

In a tournament that was turning into a damp squib after severe weather delays over the first two days (more than 17 hours were lost in total, ensuring a Monday finish), Smith's fireworks secured the biggest win of his career.

Two back starting the final lap after carding a 3-under 69 in his delayed third round completed earlier in the day, Smith burst out of the traps with four straight birdies to take the lead and moved to 12-under with another gain at the sixth.

But just when it seemed he would skip clear of the field, the Aussie crashed with a run of three straight bogeys at 7, 8 and 9 to drop into a five-way tie for top spot.

Unperturbed, Smith pressed the accelerator again and started the back nine the way he'd opened the front, reeling of four straight birdies to once more assume control.

After saving par at 15 and 16, a stunning tee-shot to inside five feet at the dangerous island green at 17 which he holed for another birdie looked to have slammed the door shut on his rivals but the drama wasn't quite done there.

Three clear, Smith hit a loose drive at the last and then overcooked his second when escaping from the trees and found water.

Staring at a double bogey, the 28-year-old from Brisbane made a superb up and down from 60 yards to limit the damage to a bogey and post a score of 13-under 275.

He couldn't rest easy just yet though as 54-hole leader Lahiri closed the gap to just one with a birdie of his own at 17.

It meant the Indian had to birdie the last to force a play-off but, despite a good drive, he leaked his second to the right and and couldn't chip in.

The par which completed a 69 gave Lahiri solo second, a shot clear of England's Paul Casey, who failed to pick up any shots over the final six holes in his 3-under-par closer.

Kevin Kisner and Keegan Bradley both carded 68s to finish fourth and fifth respectively while Scotland's Russell Knox shared sixth place with Harold Varner III and Doug Ghim.

Viktor Hovland briefly had a share of the lead when the field became bunched at 9-under but he dropped away to tied ninth after two bogeys in his final four holes.

Earlier in his third round, the Norwegian had made a hole-in-one, the second of the week following Shane Lowry's ace at 17 in round two.

Did weather play a big part?

After finishing his second round, Smith told reporters: "I think we got quite fortunate on that side of the draw, not to say it wasn't hard this morning, but yeah we definitely got a lucky one there."

Plenty of others mentioned it too, so how significant a break was it for the players who were given an early-late tee-time and thus avoided the very worst of the weather on Friday.

Here are the tee-times of the top eight finishers:

Cameron Smith 08.40

Anirban Lahiri 09.35

Paul Casey 09.02

Kevin Kisner 17.23

Keegan Bradley 17.01

Harold Varner III 07.56

Russell Knox 07:45

Doug Ghim 07.15

The first three home and six of the top eight all came from the early-late wave so the draw certainly seemed to have an effect.

Chapeau to Kisner and Bradley for coming through the tougher late-early section.

Kisner finished three behind the winner and Bradley four.

Bradley was briefly tied for the lead in round four but finished bogey, double bogey.

Route to victory

It's no secret what club Smith did most damage with at Sawgrass: the putter.

These tweets from stats guru Justin Ray show just what a remarkable performance the Australian produced on the greens.

READ MORE: The Phantom of the Open: Review of the new movie

Latest news