Smail grabs exciting victory at Casio World Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Japan Tour | 2004 Casio World Open | Wrap | 28 Nov 2004
New Zealand golfer David Smail birdied the final hole to win the Casio World Open in Japan today.
The 34-year-old Waikato player finished one shot clear of American Hunter Mahan with a 72-hole total of 276, 12-under par.
It is Smail’s third victory on the Japan Tour, his first since he won the same event two years ago, and he netted NZ$380,000 for his endeavours.
Smail held a one shot lead going into the final round but fell one shot behind Mahan and Japan’s Takashi Kamiyama who were tied in front at 11-under par with nine holes left.
Kamiyama’s challenge faded when he bogeyed the 14th and double bogeyed the 17th to fall back to a four-way tie for third place on nine-under par.
Smail made his move with key birdies at the 12th and 13th to reclaim a two shot advantage. However Mahan birdied the 17th to draw back to within one shot with the pair both making birdies on the par-5 18th for the Kiwi to claim victory.
The New Zealander, who won the 2001 New Zealand Open, has jumped to sixth on the Japan Tour Order of Merit with season earnings of $NZ944000.
After a slow start to the season, Smail has enjoyed some outstanding performance, finishing in a share of second place in both the Japan Open and Sun Chlorella Classic this year.
He has just returned from partnering Craig Perks at the World Cup of Golf in Spain.
Source – NZGA