won the Canon Challenge by one stroke from American David Gossett
at the Castle Hill Country Club in Sydney today.
The New Zealander, who tried in vain to find a leaderboard that
would show his progress over the final holes, won his second successive
PGA Tour of Australasia tournament after carded a closing five-under
par 67 for 19-under 269.
Justin Cooper (66) tied with surprise overnight leader Tod Power
(70) for third on 17-under 271.
seven days after claiming his maiden title, the New Zealand Open
in Auckland, highlighted a remarkable career turnabout.
He told friends
before the NZ Open that he would be happy to be a journeyman who
picked up healthy cheques each week without taking the extra step
"I feel better
about my game now but I've always considered myself to be a steady
sort of player, top 10 and top 20 most weeks, pretty consistent,"
"But I never
considered myself a winner, especially not back-to-back.
it will continue and I'll keep playing rather nicely.
"I had a lot
of discussions with friends and players about ... you can go along
and make nice cheques and some pretty good money and you don't actually
need to win.
"I was resigning
myself to the fact that's what I might carry on doing for the next
sessions of physiotherapy a day because of back soreness suffered
while lifting his toddler son out of the bath, Smail admitted he
had set his sights this week no higher than making the cut.
the tournament was over when defending champion Paul Gow recorded
an opening-round 60 but tonight, with a cheque for $99,000 in his
pocket, he was eyeing the Heineken Classic that gets underwat at
The Vines in Perth on Thursday.
just amazing," Smail said.
"My first win
last week seemed like a dream come true and this was just something
"I didn't expect
much at all, especially on that morning when Paul Gow shot 60 and
I was standing on the tee 12 behind.
"I was nervous
I didn't have any nerves at all but today, from about the 15th,
I was feeling it, shaking over a few putts but trying to look cool."
Cooper, Power and Gow who hit a shank in his three-under
69 led at different stages of a gripping final day before
playing partners Smail and Gossett were joint leaders at 18 under
on the 17th.
from eight metres and Smail replied by sinking a 3m downhill putt
to make birdie for a crucial two-shot swing before making a regulation
par on 18 for victory.
Gow was an overwhelming crowd favourite but technical glitches that
crept into his game on Friday continued to plague him, highlighted
by his shanked second shot on the short par-four 16th.
"I was just
trying my guts out," said Gow, who will join Gossett at the AT&T
International at Pebble Beach on the US Tour.
"I was an accident
waiting to happen but I gave it a good defence.
a lot of positives in the whole week I shot 60.
"I expect something
in about five weeks time.
"If I show the
balls I did today I could win in the next five weeks."
Woods will return to Phoenix after skipping the 2000 event.