Cameron Davis storms home to win 2017 Emirates Australian Open

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Australian Cameron Davis has claimed a shock one-stroke victory at the 2017 Emirates Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

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Almost three years since winning the prestigious Australian Amateur title at The Australian Golf Club, 22-year-old Cameron Davis has won the even more prestigious Australian Open trophy at the same venue.

Davis birdied the par-5 18th hole – after hitting his drive into a fairway bunker to take a one-stroke lead over the field and waited on the practice fairway to see if his 11-under clubhouse lead would be enough to claim the Stonehaven Trophy.

“I didn’t look at the leaderboard all day; that was probably good for me to do,” Davis said after the round. “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 really. I didn’t even see the leaderboard before I hit that putt on the last hole.”

Sweden’s Jonas Blixt had the best chance of forcing a playoff when he conjured a makeable birdie putt on the 18th after scrambling his way to the green via the fairway bunker and the left rough.

Blixt, who has somehow fallen to 428th on the overall world golf rankings left the tying putt a foot short of the hole, settling for a second place finish with Matt Jones and handing Davis a remarkable win.

The finish for Blixt and Jones was bittersweet. While neither walked away with the Australian Open trophy, Jones, Blixt and Davis all booked themselves a place in The 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie with a top-3 finish.

For Davis it will be his first major championship and will be hoping to emulate Jordan Spieth who won the Australian Open before going on to win the 2017 Open Championship.

It’s my first Major so, I’ve got no idea what to expect,” Davis said. “I know it’s going to be huge. I wasn’t even thinking about that at all today. If I can follow in Spieth’s footsteps, I’d be pretty happy.”

The big-hitting Davis began the week with a low-round 8-under 63 but cooled through the next two days to find himself four shots behind 54-hole leader Jason Day coming into the final round.

Three birdies in his opening five holes saw Davis make up for a late blemish in his third round but it was the sensational hole-out for eagle at the par-4 12th hole that had everyone wondering if this was his day.

And when he knocked a chip shot to within gimme range on the 14th hole, Davis got to 11-under and into a share of the lead.

Pre-final round favourite Day had a day to forget shooting a 2-over par 73 to drop into outright fifth place. An opening birdie at the difficult par-4 first hole belied the struggle to come for Day that hit the biggest hurdle at the ninth.

On the same hole that Rory McIlroy’s chase at an Australian Open came unstuck in 2014, Day carded a double-bogey after finding the fairway bunker and the water hazard.

An eagle at the par-5 14th hole after two more bogeys briefly had the big galleries wondering if Day would be able to pull off a miracle finish but the world number 12 could only manage a string of pars to finish the tournament three behind Davis on 8-under par.

“Its obviously a little bit disappointing to come out and not finish it, but Ive just got to kind of look back on it and see what I need to do for next time, because you cant be perfect all the time,” Day said. “And I played three terrific rounds actually, the first three rounds, and I just didnt put it together on Sunday.”

American Jordan Spieth never quite found his groove all week but the defending champion posted his first sub-70 round of the week to jump into 8th place at 6-under par.

“I’m playing beautifully, the putter felt great today, I found a nice trigger and I was getting through my putts a lot better than I was at the beginning of the week,” Spieth said. “Had that happened the whole week, I would definitely have been in contention.”

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