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Holiday pay: Aussie Cam Davis works overtime to take RMC crown on fifth playoff hole

Tony Paul, The Detroit News on

Published in Golf

DETROIT — Say this much: The 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic wasn't hurting for drama.

And some of it was even about the golf. Right to the very end, in fact.

Hard-charging Cam Davis of Australia made par on the signature hole of AREA 3-1-3 at Detroit Golf Club to put an end to the PGA Tour's second consecutive sudden-death playoff, and to earn his first career win on the PGA Tour. Troy Merritt, co-leader after 54 holes, missed a 6-footer for par, just shy of his third victory.

It all concluded on the fifth playoff hole — in this union town, what's a little overtime on a holiday? — a week after Harris English went eight to beat Kramer Hickok at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

"It's still so surreal for me," said Davis, who entered the final round a shot back. "I've been in some good positions before, but to play the golf that I played coming down the stretch was just awesome.

"I'm sure I'll be able to look back, I'm sure some of it's on camera, so I'm sure I'll be able to relive some moments as well and really enjoy it again.

 

"But this has been awesome. I'm really, really happy with where I sit right now."

Why wouldn't he be? He was sitting next to the red, black and silver championship trophy.

Joaquin Niemann, who shared the 54-hole lead with Merritt, didn't make a bogey through 72 holes of regulation. But he bogeyed the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, and was eliminated.

The playoff went from 18 to 15 to 16 to 14 and back to 15, as tournament officials made a last-minute audible to keep the action in AREA 3-1-3 — so that fans wouldn't have to hoof it all over the grounds. They did enough mad-dashing after each playoff hole, to get in position for the next, scampering down the rough lines.

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