The Open Champion Cameron Smith Profiled, WITB, Stats
AUSTRALIA’S Cameron Smith rewrote the record books as he won the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews by a single shot from American rookie Cameron Young.
Smith, winner of the Players Championship and Tournament of Champions this season, shot a spectacular bogey-free 64 to finish the tournament on 268, 20 under par. It was the lowest ever final round by a champion at the home of golf and his winning total was also a record, beating the previous best set by Tiger Woods in 2000.
Between them, Smith and Young broke the heart of Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman, seeking his first major victory since 2014, was joint lead after 54 holes with Norway’s Viktor Hovland. McIlroy shot a final round of 70 to end the week in third place, two shots behind Smith.
It is a first major for the Australian, whose round featured five successive birdies from the 10th.
The 28-year-old had to roll in a three-foot birdie putt at the last to avoid a play-off with Young, who had seconds earlier eagled the par-four hole to post a 65 and reach 19 under.
Hovland shot a 74 to slip to 14 under and joint fourth place with England's Tommy Fleetwood, who closed with a bogey-free 67.
It would be easy to believe that this was another tournament McIlroy let slip from his grasp but the truth is that Smith was sensational and fully deserves his victory.
McIlroy’s putter went ice cold and he missed seven birdie putts of fewer than 20 feet, including crucially on the 17th after a brilliant approach set up the three he needed to give him a chance of catching Smith with the same score on the last.
But when you finish a major with a round of two-under-par after starting the final day with a four-shot lead and lose then you just have to admit that the better man won.
"I didn't feel like I did many things wrong, but the putter went cold on me throughout the round," said the 33-year-old. "I did what I wanted to do. I played a really controlled round of golf.
"Both Camerons, but especially Smith, went on a run on the back nine. I had to dig deep to make some birdies and I couldn't.
"I got beaten by the better player this week. To shoot 64 to win an Open Championship at St Andrews is one hell of a showing, so hats off to Cam, he's had an unbelievable week."
WHO IS CAMERON SMITH?
Smith was born in Brisbane on August 18, 1993. He was won six times on the PGA Tour, with three of those victories coming in 2022, three times on the DP World Tour and twice on the PGA Tour of Australiasia.
He turned professional in 2013 and first made his mark in America when he finished in a tie for 15th at the RBC Heritage, playing on a sponsor’s invite. In 2015 he earned his PGA Tour card but lost it after just one season but regained it for the 2017 season. In 2017 he teamed up with Jonas Blixt to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and finished the season inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup standings. He ended the year by winning the Australian PGA Championship and successfully defended his title 12 months later.
He won the Sony Open in 2020 and finished runner-up at The Masters. In April 2021 he won the Zurich Classic for the second time, in partnership with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman.
His victory at St Andrews took him into second place in FedEx Cup standings. He started the week in sixth place in the world rankings but moved to second behind Scottie Scheffler after picking up the Claret Jug.
He averages 300 yards from the tee and hits 59.8% of fairways. Smith hits 68.11% of greens in regulation and averages 4.76 birdies per round - nobody makes more. His win at The Open took his season’s earnings to $9.85m. He averages just 28.07 putts per round.
WHAT’S IN THE BAG?
Driver: Titleist TSR2 (10 degrees @ 10.75 degrees, D4)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X
3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees @ 15.75 degrees, D4)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X
Irons: Mizuno Pro Hi-Fli (3, 3), Titleist T100 Black (5-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X Custom Matte Black
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 Jet Black (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M), Titleist WedgeWorks Proto Jet Black (60-T)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X Custom Matte Black
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M Prototype
Grip: Scotty Cameron
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Super Tack
The oldest & most prestigious major, a trip to The Open is a must for every golf fan. From tickets and transfers to hospitality & golf, Golfbreaks.com can build the perfect package to help you experience The Open in style.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)