YouTube sensation Cameron Davis shocks Jason Day
200/1 shot fired final round 64 to come from six shots behind and beat former world No1
Cameron Davis of Australia poses for photographers while holding The Stonehaven Cup after winning the Australian Open Golf Championship at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, New South Wales. Photo: David Moir/EPA
The romance of it all is summed up neatly by the roll of honour engraved on the Stonehaven Cup, the name of the trophy awarded to winner of the Australian Open.
Jack Nicklaus won it six times and Greg Norman lifted it five times; whilst more recent vintage includes a Who’s Who of the sport with Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy among the big guns who embellished their career CVs with victory there.
And, yet, there is something about Cameron Davis’s most recent win that sets him apart and truly shows that anyone can win in any given week on tour. Although former world number one Jason Day went into the final round in Sydney with one hand clasping the famous silverware, only to crumple under pressure, it was Davis – previously best known as a YouTube sensation for his ability to hit balls both left- and right-handed – who stole the show.
“Is he a professional? Is he an amateur?” Day had enquired after the first round last Thursday, when Davis – a 200/1 shot before a ball was hit in anger – found himself atop the first round leaderboard.
Well, the 22-year-old Aussie is indeed a professional (since October 2016), but life had hardly been a bed of roses having endured a tough old time of it on the Canadian PGA Tour which included a disqualification at one tournament for sleeping through his alarm call and being late for his scheduled tee time.
There were no such concerns last week as Davis was able to stay in the family home throughout the week and, when it mattered most, timed his winning run perfectly with a final round 64 that saw him come from six shots back of 54-hole leader Day. Davis’s first pro win earned him full status on the Australian PGA Tour and an exemption into next year’s British Open at Carnoustie.
Nobody was more surprised than Davis of his win, which was confirmed to him on the practice ground as he warmed-up in case he was needed for a play-off. “I didn’t look at the leaderboard all day. I just kept on going, just tried to keep playing my game and just keep pushing and pushing and see how far up I could get . . . . to come into the scorer’s hut and see where I was at, I was kind of blown away.”
For the record, Davis doesn’t include a left-handed club in his bag – during tournaments – any more. “I mucked around a bit (left-handed) when I was younger because I was in the trees all the time. I had to figure out ways to get out of there. I had a left-handed club in my bag for a little while.”
The win has given Davis status on the Australian circuit up to the end of 2022 season . . . . but he has his sights set on making it onto the PGA Tour and, indeed, his next assignment will be in Arizona next week where he competes in the Web.Com Tour final qualifying school.
McIlroy confirms return to action
A few eyebrows were raised recently when Rory McIlroy was seen playing golf in Dubai with actor Jamie Dornan . . . . at the same time that the season-ending DP World Tour Championship was taking place in the emirate.
Anyway, McIlroy tweeted an explanation that the tournament had “come a week too early to compete with the boys”, putting a social round as against a competitive round with card in hand in context.
McIlroy, though, has signalled his intent to hit the ground running in January with confirmation last week that he would play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC tournament in January and then on Monday confirming that his stint in the Middle East will also extend to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The Northern Irishman – who has slipped to 10th in the world rankings – hasn’t played since the Alfred Dunhill Links in early October, using the time away from tournament play to recover from the rib injury which first surfaced in January.
By the Numbers
1,494 & 229: Cameron Davis’s win in the Australian Open saw him jump from 1,494th in the world rankings up to a career high 229th. His victory – the first of his 13-months long professional career – also earned him a spot in next year’s British Open at Carnoustie.
Word of Mouth
“When you hold the lead and everyone’s expecting you to win there’s a bit of added pressure on that as well. A few bounces here and there. I just didn’t play my best” – Jason Day on his final round capitulation in the Australian Open.
In the Bag
Wade Ormsby, Hong Kong Open champion
Driver - Titleist 917 D2 (8.5 degrees)
3-wood - Titleist 917 F2 (15 degrees)
Hybrids - Adams Idea Pro (16 degrees), Adams Idea Pro VST (21 degrees)
Irons - Titleist 718 CB (4-5 irons), Titleist 718 MB (6-9 irons)
Wedges (Titleist Vokey SM6 48 degrees, 54 degrees, 58 degrees)
Putter - Scotty Cameron Futura X5R
Ball - Titleist Pro V1x
“Just proves what a great game & sport #golf is. @wadeormsby has been kicked in guts plenty over his years and refused to stay on the floor! To all the kids who play this great game never ever give up on your dreams, They do come true if you want it enough” – Marcus Fraser salutes his fellow Aussie on Ormsby’s win in Hong Kong.
“Excited to announce I’ll be playing on the @asiantourgolf at the #IndonesianMasters in December” – seems as if Justin Rose – who on Sunday flew from Hong Kong to New York and on to Bahamas, where he is competing in the Hero World Challenge – has no intention of putting his clubs away just yet.
“Great to be part of a winning team....thanks to all involved @costanavaino @pgasofeurope maybe sample the local beer this evening” – Simon Thornton on Ireland’s runaway win in the PGA of Europe team championship where he partnered David Higgins and Mark Staunton.
Know the Rules
Q: In stroke play, a competitor is searching for his ball under a tree. He accidentally moves his ball with his foot in breach of Rule 18-2 and, at the same time, breaks a branch, improving the area of his intended swing in breach of Rule 13-2. What is the ruling?
A: The competitor has breached two Rules as a result of a single act. In accordance with the second principle in Decision 1-4/12, the competitor only incurs a single penalty. However, in this case, the Rules that have been breached by the competitor give different penalties (i.e. Rule 18-2 carries a one stroke penalty and Rule 13-2 carries a two stroke penalty). In such circumstances, in equity (Rule 1-4), the more severe of the two penalties must be applied and, therefore, the competitor is penalised two strokes under Rule 13-2. If the same circumstances arose in match play, the player would lose the hole.