Cameron Smith might have cost himself the 2022 Masters, a green jacket and a large chunk of change on Sunday after a flub-filled 12th hole. Just moments after he gained one stroke on 36- and 54-hole leader Scottie Scheffler at the par-4 11th to chop his deficit to three strokes, Smith immediately turned around and lost three strokes with a triple bogey at the challenging par 3.
Smith’s miscue may have ultimately decided the Masters, and it almost certainly had a drastic affect on his payout from the record $15 million Masters purse.
His first attack at the 155-yard hole came up short and splashed just shy of the green. After a drop, he took no chance of another water ball and instead flew the green. From there, he ran his approach well past the pin and subsequently whiffed on his attempt at a double bogey save before carding a six on the scorecard.
It was Smith’s first triple bogey or worse on the PGA Tour since the final round of the 2021 Travelers Championship, and it came in arguably the most important round of his young career.
He was on pace to finish second in the tournament, a payout of $1.62 million, but went on to finish T3, earning $870,000 instead — a $750,000 difference.
“Just a really bad swing at the wrong time,” Smith said of his effort on the 12th. “It was actually a really good number. It was a really nice 9-iron. Wasn’t even trying to go near that pin, and, yeah, just a really poor swing.”
Scheffler made par on the 12th as part of a huge momentum swing that significantly shifted the leaderboard, thrusting Smith into third and Rory McIlroy into second. Moments later, McIlroy holed out for birdie on the 18th to finish as the clubhouse leader at 7 under on the week. Scheffler, however, finished at 10 under, taking home the green jacket and his first career major championship. McIlroy finished second and Smith — who played the final six holes at 1 under — finished in a tie for third with Shane Lowry at 5 under.
“I was obviously very frustrated after the 12th hole today,” said Smith, “but just hung in there and tried to finish off on a positive.”