Australian youngster Cameron Smith’s cool eagle on the last hole at the US Open is set to send his golf career into the stratosphere.
The 21-year-old majors debutant drilled a 265-metre three wood shot to the 18th green at Chambers Bay and saw it curl around the tiered green to within a foot of the flag before he tapped in for the eagle that secured him a share of fourth place.
The result ensured Smith can take up temporary membership on the US PGA Tour for the remainder of the season, giving him unlimited sponsor invitations to earn his card for the 2015-16 season.
Given the $US407,530 ($A524,460) he earned at Chambers Bay brings his season total to $US814,567 ($A1.05 million), he is already all but guaranteed a spot on the main tour next season.
But the perks don’t end there, with his finish also bringing invitations to the Masters and US Open next year and it should also lift him into the top 100 in the world rankings.
It was almost too much for the Brisbane boy to take in.
“I’m speechless,” said Smith of the rewards following a closing two-under-par 68 which left his just two shots behind fellow 21-year-old winner Jordan Spieth.
“I just want to sort of sit in the hotel room and let it all absorb.
“That sounds pretty good, though, doesn’t it?”
Smith was also in shock over his shot on the 18th, and the resulting roar from the masses in the huge grandstands around the green.
“It was spine-tingling, it was crazy,” he said.
“I said to my caddie Dan on the tee, `Do we have a shot at getting there (in two shots)?’.
He said, `If you hit a good drive’, so I hit a really good drive, ended up just short of the bunker on the uphill slope which helped a lot. It was just a perfect 3-wood (position). And I hit it and it went a lot closer than I thought it was going to go.”
Despite playing in his first major, Smith went into the last round three of the lead and he believed he could have contended for the title had he putted just a little better.
“I thought I could definitely compete and if I could get my way around the golf course pretty good, I’d sort of thought I had a shot,” he said.
“It wasn’t to be but I’m happy with where I finished, for sure.
“I probably hit it the best today of the whole week.
“I gave myself plenty of opportunities, but my distance control with the flat stick today was definitely not as good as it has been.
“I had three three-putts today, so it might have cost me a `W’.
“But what can you do? It’s golf.
“To be up there in a major means that you can play with the big guys, so I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it all works out.”