PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA | “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” gave us one of the great mantras: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
Cameron Smith on Monday was the man who shot at the toughest flag on the 17th green with a two-shot lead at the Players Championship and lived to tell about it. The golf world was ready to embrace and print the legend of his dart to 4 feet until the man with the mullet admitted, “I’d be lying if I said I didn't push it a little bit.”
Let’s stick with the legend, because it turns out Smith needed that birdie and every single one of his remarkable 10 birdies on Monday to beat a pesky Anirban Lahiri and take home the $3.6 million winner’s check in one of the most volatile final rounds you’ll ever see. His scorecard also included four bogeys and 13 one-putt greens – three of them when he desperately needed to save par on 14 and 15 and get up-and-down from 54 yards for bogey on 18 after punching out of the trees and into the water.
The way Smith putts and chips, you get the distinct fe...
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