Cameron Smith has blown his chance of victory at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St Jude Invitational with an inexplicable double-bogey on his final hole.
The Australian finished two shots out of a three-man playoff – won by his final round playing partner Abraham Ancer on the second extra hole.
A week after falling agonisingly short of a bronze-medal playoff at the Olympics with a bogey on his 72nd hole in Tokyo, Smith was tied for the lead at 16 under heading to the 18th at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
He sliced his tee shot well right and just shy of out of bounds, with trees blocking his second shot to the green.
Despite seemingly having no option but to bail out and try and get up and down for par from the fairway, Smith elected to fire at the green from a dusty lie – his shot cannoning off a tree and out of bounds.
Chipping out after a penalty stroke, Smith then proceeded to knock his wedge shot from 96 yards to within a few feet and made the putt for a six.
His round of two-over 72 left the World No.28 – who two days ago tied the PGA Tour record for fewest putts in a round with just 18 – in a three-way tie for fifth.
“There was a little gap up there,” Smith said after the round. “I had to hit like a medium flight draw and I tried to hit it.
“I mean, I wanted to win, I didn't want to chip it out and leave my chances in Harry's hands. He was still 16 under at the time. I wanted to make sure I had a good look at birdie and I just didn't execute it.
“The actual flight of it was good, it just hit the tree there on the right.”
Ancer, the 2018 Australian Open champion, secured his first title on the PGA Tour by overcoming Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns in the play-off with a six-foot birdie putt.
Burns had a five-and-a-half foot putt – on the same line as Ancer – lip out to give the Mexican victory.
"This is surreal," the 30-year-old Ancer said.
"I felt I left so many shots out there on the back nine, but you never know."
Ancer, who finished second at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, played more aggressively on the second extra trip down the par-4 18th.
"I went right at it and the shot played perfectly in my mind and it came out just how I pictured it," he said.
Harris English, the leader after each of the first three rounds, faltered on the back nine to give Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama a chance. The 2013 champion at TPC Southwind finished with a 73 – playing the back nine in five-over 40.
Ancer closed with a two-under 68 to match Matsuyama and Burns at 16-under 264.
Matsuyama shot a closjng 63, and Burns had a 64.
On the first extra hole, Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama, coming off a bronze-medal play-off loss in the Tokyo Olympics, made decent runs at birdies.
Bryson DeChambeau, two strokes behind English after a third-round 63, had a 74 – which included a triple-bogey six on the par-3 11th – to tie for eighth at 12 under.