After four rounds of riveting competition at the Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation, Austin Smotherman’s late chip-in secured him the spot as a crowned champion on that Sunday afternoon after a third consecutive 3-under 69 to close out a three-stroke victory.
Tying for second place was Cark Yuan and Paul Haley II, both finishing 13-under with an overall score of 275. David Skinns positioned himself in fourth with an overall score of 276 after four rounds, finishing 12-under. For Skinns, he was able to secure his highest finish since winning the 2018 Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna when he shot even-par 72.
Breakdown of Each Round
In the 2021 Simmons Bank Open opening round, Stephan Jaeger and Nick Hardy shared a lead at 7-under 65. Jaeger was seeking to secure his third win in hopes of a promotion to the PGA TOUR. Amateur Cameron Tankersley made a strong introduction to his first professional tournament, sinking three birdies and shooting an even-par 72.
In the second round, Austin Smotherman started moving his way up the leaderboard while carding a 3-under 69 securing a one-stroke lead going into the weekend. This marks the second 36-hole lead of his Korn Ferry Tour career. Just behind him was Andrew Novak recording a 7-under 65 after an impressive play of a hole-out eagle, tap-in eagle, and a hole-out birdie. Tankersley made another showstopping performance to make his first professional tournament cut after making three straight birdies on the back nine.
Round three delivered tight competition as Brent Grant shortened the lead between himself and co-leader Smotherman after Grant shot an impressive 8-under 64 heading into Sunday’s round. This performance would help him earn a share of the 54-hole lead after Smotherman recorded 3-under 69, with the hopes of accomplishing his first Korn Ferry Tour win.
The final round of play crowned Smotherman the winner of the 2021 Simmons Bank Open after his impressive chip-in birdie. This rewarded the player his first Korn Ferry Tour win by three strokes, with Carl Yuan and Paul Haley II placing themselves T2. Andrew Novak added to the excitement of the weekend as he locks down his fifth consecutive top-10 finish. This finish tied Will Zalatoris, the most recent second-place finisher at The Masters, for the longest streak of the 2020-21 season.
More to Note
The tournament at The Grove held the players to high standards with some of the most difficult holes in the season. Overall, Hole 3 resulted in 43 birdies, 83 bogeys, and 36 double bogeys or worse claiming the victory of the toughest hole of the tournament. The scoring average for the front nine was 36.583, and 35.561 for the back nine average. In total, the average score of the tournament was 72.143.
The weather became a challenge for the players throughout the tournament while enduring two delays, rainy weather, and windy conditions. It was mostly cloudy with scattered thunderstorms, temperatures hitting a high of 75 degrees, and winds recorded around 18-25 mph.
A Weekend Well Spent
The Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation marks the eighth event of 2021 and the 31st of the 2020-21 combined season. The combined season will conclude with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded in August at the 2021 Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
The tournament went on to be a success thanks to the hundreds of spectators, players, and staff who spent their time out enjoying the excitement of the Korn Ferry Tour. The proceeds collected from this event benefited the Snedeker Foundation and totaled around $250,000 for the foundation. The Snedeker Foundation, created by 2021 FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker and his wife Mandy, has worked hand in hand with the Simmons Bank Open since 2018 supporting a variety of social and athletic endeavors for the underprivileged children in Middle Tennessee and beyond.