He had to scramble at the 11th hour just to squeeze into the field, but Cameron Smith will have an automatic ticket to the US Masters next year after a late flourish earned him a top-five finish in just his second trip to Augusta National.
The 24-year-old rode a six birdie blitz on the back nine during his final round to vault into a tie for fifth after only scraping into the field as a top 50 player a fortnight before the tournament.
Flush finish: Cameron Smith of Australiia putts on the first hole during the final round of the 2018 Masters.
But Smith, already a winner on the PGA Tour and last year's Australian PGA champion, will ride down Magnolia Lane for a third time in 2019 after finishing at nine-under alongside Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson.
“I’d like to think either way I would be back here anyway [without an automatic invite next year]," said Smith as Patrick Reed held off fast-finishing Americans Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to win his first green jacket.
"It definitely secures a spot for next year and that’s a big bonus. I’m getting used to the course and the tricks around here, which is nice. I can’t wait to get back."