Smith rallies to retain Australian PGA Championship

Cameron Smith claimed back-to-back Australian PGA Championship titles on Sunday as he carded a final round 70 to win by two shots.

Smith had a three-shot advantage heading into round four but two bogeys in the first four holes saw his lead wiped out as Marc Leishman made ground.

By the turn Leishman was ahead of the defending champion, four birdies helping the world number 21 match his best opening nine holes of the week.

It was not to be for Leishman, though, as he stuttered on the run home, dropping shots at 14 and 16.

That opened the door for Smith and he duly accepted the invitation to seal his second European Tour title.

“I was expecting Leish to come out and give it a good crack today,” said Smith, who finished the tournament at 16 under. “It’s always hard going up against a mate and trying to win a golf tournament.

“I’ve been in this situation before and I’ve had it happen to me as well. I’m sure we’ll have a beer over Christmas or when I see him next and we’ll be back to being mates.

“I’ve definitely improved a lot over the last year. I’ve put in a lot of hard work and I’ve just stuck to my process goals.

“I would love to get into the top 20 by the end of this year, it’s definitely the next goal. I think that’s the next big step for myself, to get in there and get myself in a lot of situations where I can win golf tournaments.”

Behind the top two, Ross McGowan broke the course record with a 63 to secure a share of third with Matthew Millar, the duo finishing 11 under, five adrift of Smith.