Cameron Smith secures top-5 Masters finish with second nine birdie binge

Smith's birdie binge secures top-five finish
Playing in his second Masters, Australian Cameron Smith shot 6-under-par 66 to tie for fifth place at 9-under 279 with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and 2016 British Open winner Henrik Stenson. [TODD BENNETT/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

In only his second Masters Tournament appearance, Cameron Smith would have been satisfied with a top-10 finish.

He got that, and more.

The 24-year-old Australian reeled off four consecutive birdies on the back nine Sunday at Augusta National and shot 6-under-par 66 to tie for fifth place at 9-under 279 with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and 2016 British Open winner Henrik Stenson.

The top 12 and ties earn invitations to the 2019 Masters.

"I'd like to think I would have made it back here anyway, but it definitely secures a spot for next year and that's a big bonus," said Smith, who played Sunday with world No. 1 and 2016 U.S. Open winner Dustin Johnson.

PHOTOS: Sunday's Round at the Masters

It is Smith's second top-5 finish in a major championship. He tied for fourth in the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, won by Jordan Spieth.

"I’ve had a couple of good finishes in majors, but (the) U.S. Masters is the big hype and to finish up there was awesome," Smith said.

The 66 was his lowest score in eight Masters rounds by four shots.

In his only other appearance, Smith shot 74-73-82-74 and tied for 55th in 2016.

Smith, who began the day tied for 12th place, birdied No. 1 before giving the shot back with a bogey on No. 4. He parred the five remaining holes on the front nine and made the turn in even-par 36.

"I probably left a few on the front to be honest,'' said Smith, who is ranked 44th in the world.

He birdied No. 10 and, after a par on No. 11, reeled off four consecutive birdies beginning at No. 12.

"I just needed to see one go in the hole," said Smith, who shot 30 on the back nine.

After a par on No. 16, he birdied No. 17 to go 9 under and finished the tournament tied for second in second-nine scoring at 9 under with runner-up Rickie Fowler and Daniel Berger.

Hole By Hole Scores

Round 4
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Tot
Par 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 36 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 36 72
Rnd 3 5 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 36 3 4 2 4 3 4 3 3 4 30 66
Tot -4 -4 -4 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -4 -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -8 -9 -9 -9 -9
 
 
Round 3
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Tot
Par 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 36 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 36 72
Rnd 4 4 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 35 4 4 3 4 4 4 2 5 5 35 70
Tot -1 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -3 -3 -4 -5 -4 -3 -3 -3
 
 
Round 2
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Tot
Par 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 36 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 36 72
Rnd 5 4 3 3 5 2 5 5 4 36 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 36 72
Tot 0 -1 -2 -2 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
 
 
Round 1
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Tot
Par 4 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 36 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 4 36 72
Rnd 4 5 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 37 3 4 3 5 4 4 3 4 4 34 71
Tot 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1

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