Golf – British Open: Cameron Smith wins at Saint Andrews and wins his first Major

Australian Cameron Smith won the British Open on Sunday at the historic Saint Andrews course, winning his first Major at the age of 28, when he was four strokes behind his head before the last round. With a final card of -8, Smith (6th in the world) won with a total of -20 and one step ahead of the American Cameron Young (-19). Rory McIlroy, who had produced in the lead this last round, returned a final card of -2 to finish third by two shots (-18).

This season, Smith had already won the Players Championship, officer fifth Major, and shared third place at the Masters, the first Major of the year. Then he tied for 13th at the PGA Championship, but missed the cut at the US Open. For his part, McIlroy who was still in the lead after the 13th hole, but already tied with Smith, still failed to win a fifth Major. His last dates back to the 2014 PGA Championship.

The Open

McIlroy and Hovland neck and neck after the third round


A final decisive birdie

Smith chained five birdies in a row from hole 10 to 14 to take the lead, before finishing on an eighth and last on hole 18. This birdie had become necessary to avoid the playoff not against McIlroy, but against his partner Young, who came from hitting an eagle that put him at -19, like Smith before his last putt.

Rory McIlroy – British Open 2022

Credit: Getty Images

The Aussie didn’t flinch and had to wait a few more minutes for McIlroy not to score an eagle on the 18 which would also have pushed Smith into the playoff. But the Northern Irishman, who missed a multitude of birdies by inches or less throughout the day, was once again only able to do better than par.

No mistake

Smith, who didn’t make the slightest mistake on a card including a total of 8 birdies, succeeded in everything, especially on the return. With the exception of the drive on the 15th which slightly escaped him on the right but which he brought back perfectly to save the par, and a devilish approach to the hole 17, which left him with a delicate but formidable third shot. successful, putter from outside the green to skirt the deep bunker and follow up on a putt while controlling for par.

On the contrary, the day was very frustrating for McIlroy: his card is not marred by any bogey, but a multitude of putts passed or stopped a few centimeters – even millimeters – from the hole (at 5, 6, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17) which could earn him birdies or an eagle.“I don’t feel like I did much wrong, but the putter eluded me throughout that fourth round”, he lamented. As for Hovland, he gradually but irretrievably stalled to finish six strokes behind the winner (+2 on Sunday), and shared 4th place with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.

Cameron Smith, winner of the British Open 2022.

Credit: Getty Images

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