His big wins came in the Japan Open in 2002, becoming one of the few Australasians to claim that prestigious title, the Casio Open on two occasions, the Bridgestone Open and the Acom International and in his homeland of New Zealand, he would win his own national title in 2001 and in Australia the Canon Challenge.
He led the 2008 Australian Open at Royal Sydney with six holes to go before a struggling finish saw him finish 4th behind South Africa’s Tim Clark.
2001 New Zealand Open: The 84th New Zealand Open was played at The Grange Golf Club. It was the year that David Smail arrived as a world-class player. He had been successful in Japan, but his career was relatively low key until his breakthrough win in 2001.
Defending champion Michael Campbell rallied late in his second round to make the cut right on the bubble, and then played sublime golf charging on day 3 and 4 but falling just short.
The lead changed several times over the final nine holes with three players joining Campbell in finishing second. One was New Zealand’s Steven Alker who faltered on the difficult par four 17th on the final day. Smail’s win made him the fifth different New Zealand winner in as many years.
Smail’s son (Charlie) won the 2018 New Zealand Amateur Championship.