They may have been left in the wake of the coronation of the Tiger Woods comeback but Aussie trio Cameron Smith, Jason Day and Marc Leishman had plenty of cause for celebration at the conclusion of the Tour Championship.
Qualifying for the 30-man field at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta is reward in itself for an outstanding season on the PGA Tour, the cash bonus for final FedEx Cup finishing position a nice way to head into a well-earned rest.
Despite some mid-season struggles Smith’s impressive surge during the playoffs saw him finish as the highest ranked Australian in the FedEx Cup for 2019, his position of 12th bringing with it a bonus cheque for $US290,000 on top of the $172,800 he earned for his 20th place finish in the Tour Championship.
Starting the week 10th in the FedEx Cup, Smith had five bogeys on the front nine during his second round as a he posted a 3-over 73, bouncing back over the weekend with rounds of 69 and 68.
Day was the best of the Aussie contingent in the Tour Championship and finished in a flurry on Sunday, registering four birdies over the final six holes to finish 18th and 16th in the FedEx Cup to pick up $180,000 and $245,000 respectively for a grand total of $425,000.
Our only winner on the PGA Tour this year, Day said at the start of the week that he considers his two-win season a disappointing one but can now look forward to the arrival of his third child in November and an even bigger and better 2019.
Although he didn’t add to his tally of PGA Tour wins this year it was again another very successful year for Leishman who was twice runner-up and recorded six top-10s.
Heading into the Tour Championship in 29th position on the FedEx Cup made the Victorian an unlikely contender for the $10 million bonus ultimately won by Justin Rose and a difficult start to the tournament where he was 2-over through the first nine holes halted any thoughts of a charge.
Leishman showed more positive signs with rounds of 69 and 68 before a 1-over par final round of 70 saw him end the week in a tie for 21st and 29th in the FedEx Cup, a combined cash reward of $343,800.
Two Aussies teed it up in the inaugural Sanford International on the Champions Tour this week, Peter Lonard and David McKenzie both finishing tied for 39th as Steve Stricker won by four shots.
Along with Stricker, McKenzie was one of four players tied for the lead after an opening round of 63 but a second round of 77 brought him back to the pack, he and Lonard both posting rounds of 70 on Sunday.