'Total class': Brilliant hidden detail in Cam Smith's Masters meltdown

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Cam Smith congratulates Scottie Scheffler on his incredible Masters triumph. Pic: Getty
Cam Smith congratulates Scottie Scheffler on his incredible Masters triumph. Pic: Getty

Aussie golfer Cam Smith has been praised over a classy moment at the Masters that went largely unnoticed during Scottie Scheffler's historic triumph.

Scheffler claimed his first green jacket after holding off an inspired final round charge from Rory McIlroy with a one-under 71 on Sunday in Augusta, that sealed a three-stroke win over the Northern Irishman.

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Smith went into the final round three strokes behind Scheffler and got that back to one shot after starting his round with two successive birdies.

However, the Aussie star ultimately had to settle for a share of third place after a disastrous back nine.

Smith seemed set for at least another second after making a brilliant birdie on the par-4 11th, one of Augusta's most demanding holes.

Instead the 28-year-old's tee shot on the 12th found the water and he racked up a heartbreaking triple-bogey six as Amen Corner claimed yet another victim.

Smith rebounded gamely with successive birdies on 15 and 16 to secure equal third to go with his fifth in 2018, second in 2020 and 10th last year at the season's first and most magical major.

The Aussie ended up shooting a one-over-par 73 to fall five shots short of Scheffler at five under.

By the time the final pairing of Smith and Scheffler got to the 18th hole, the American held a five-stroke lead over McIlroy.

The result was as good as decided when Smith and Scheffler walked towards the 18th green together, with the World No.1 set to record a staggering fourth victory of the year.

Sensing the enormity of the occasion and in a true mark of respect for his rival, Smith decided to hang back and let Scheffler make the walk to the 18th green by himself.

Cam Smith hung back so Masters winner Scottie Scheffler could soak up the applause from the Augusta crowd on 18. Pic: Fox Sports
Cam Smith hung back so Masters winner Scottie Scheffler could soak up the applause from the Augusta crowd on 18. Pic: Fox Sports

The classy moment went largely unnoticed as Scheffler soaked up the adulation that his incredible victory at the Masters fully warranted.

“I really hope this doesn’t get lost in the melee but Cam Smith showed total class by hanging back and letting Scheffler take the acclaim on the walk to the 18th green,” sports writer Michael McEwan tweeted

“To have that presence of mind and benignity when he would have been hurting speaks volumes for him.”

Aussie golf reporter Evin Priest also revealed that Smith's father stayed back to congratulate Scheffler on an incredible Masters triumph.

Cam Smith jumps to fifth in world rankings

Despite Smith's disappointing final round at Augusta, the Aussie's third-placed finish saw him jump one spot up to fifth in golf's world rankings.

"I feel like I've played some of my best golf around here. It just hasn't quite been my time yet," Smith said afterwards.

"A couple of lucky breaks here and there and I'll be putting the green jacket on, I'm sure one day.

"I feel really comfortable around this place. I feel like it's a place that really suits my game.

"I look forward to coming back here every year and playing good golf."

Aussie compatriot Min Woo Lee (70) had a more memorable day, tying the Masters front-nine course record with a staggering six-under-par 30, on his way to a top-15 finish on debut at two over.

Marc Leishman (74) tied for 30th at five over, Cam Davis (73) finished 46th at 12 over, while former champion Adam Scott (74) shared 48th spot at 14 over after making the cut for a 13th straight year.

with AAP

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