Smith, Pampling and Drewitt earn PGA Tour cards

American Grayson Murray might have won the golf tournament but for Australian golf fans, it was three cheers for Cameron Smith as the Queenslander locked up his return to the PGA TOUR in 2016/2017 with his runner-up finish at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Ohio.

“I’m just happy that I’m heading back to the PGA TOUR, to be honest,” Smith said. “That was, obviously, the goal through these four weeks, and to get it done a week early is definitely a relief.”

Brett Drewitt Brett Drewitt (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Murray already had his Tour card wrapped up but earned his first Tour victory after beating Smith home by one shot with a final-round, 3-under 68 for a 12-under total.

“I racked up so many top-10s this year, I was knocking on the door, and I knew if I kept putting myself in position on Sunday it was going to just be a matter of time before I won,” 22-year old Murray said.

“Just credit to everyone around me keeping me positive through those stretches where I did miss the cut this year, and my parents, my swing coach, some mentors back home, it couldn’t be possible without all them.”

The news is also good for Aussies Rod Pampling and Brett Drewitt, who are also assured of Tour cards for next season after their performances last week.

Drewitt has earned his first ever promotion to the biggest show on earth, sealing the deal after a marathon season where he has played every event on the Tour with a tie for 5th place at 8-under par.

47-year-old Pampling will be making his latest return to the Tour after consolidating his position in the Tour Finals Top 25 with a tie for 12th in Columbus.

This week’s season-ending Tour Championship at Atlantic Beach, Florida is the final opportunity for Cameron Percy (24th), Stuart Appleby (33), Rhein Gibson (45) and Matt Jones (85) to force their way into the Top 25 ranked players in the Final Series to earn Tour cards for the next 12 months.