15 Dec 2008

Shattered Smail comes up short at Royal Sydney

10:26 am on 15 December 2008

It was a shattered David Smail who walked off the 18th green at Royal Sydney last night after an inexplicable collapse which cost him the Australian Open golf championship.

Smail, a Japan tour regular, looked set to become the first New Zealand winner of the title when he led by three strokes with four holes to play, before dropping two shots on both the 15th and 16th holes to finish third equal.

The title went to the South African star Tim Clark in a playoff against the Tasmanian Mathew Goggin who sympathised with Smail after he had to settle for second place for the second time in a week.

Wellingtonians Gareth Paddison and Mark Brown tied for 18th and 21st respectively, Brown finishing the year on top of the ANZ tour money list, which earns hm a British Open start next year. And Danny Lee, the only amateur to make the cut, tied for 24th.