Cameron Smith established himself at the British Open and won the first major of his career
Cameron Smith won the British Open with a formidable final round of 64 (-8) and a total of 268 hits (-20), one less than the North American Cameron Young. In this way, the Australian kept the first major of his career and in a special place, no less than in St. Andrews, the cradle of golf, and in the 150th completion of the tournament.
Rory McIlroy had a chance to match Smith on the 18th hole, but he had to get an eagle on a difficult shot from outside the green. His approach went long and, in this way, the last champion of The Players is noted in the glorious list of winners of Grand Slam tournaments. In this way, the Northern Irishman continues to be able to win a major since 2014.
“That week! The court played firm, hard, fast and with difficult flags, as it should be in an Open. I had a lot of support throughout the week, especially from the Australians, who made themselves heard and kept pushing me”, mentioned the champion, in his first words shortly after receiving the trophy.
When midway through the final run, McIlroy looked like he might be able to end his drought, Smith took flight with 5 consecutive birdies from hole 10 to 14, in addition to the final birdie (-20 at the end of the tournament) to lift the Claret Jug, the jar-shaped trophy reserved for the winner of this prestigious tournament. Smith, leader after the second day on Friday, but on Saturday seemed to say goodbye to his title chances (with a +1), presented a final card of 64 (-8) that was unmatched by the rest of the candidates.
The Norwegian Viktor Hovland, who started the last round as leader tied with McIlroy (both with -16), could not handle the pressure and presented a card of 74 shots, which left him in fifth place with -14, the same result than England’s Tommy Fleetwood, fourth. Mexican Abraham Ancer made a fantastic final run (65 shots) to finish just outside the Top 10, with -11. In addition, the Spaniards Jon Rahm and Sergio García, who arrived on Sunday far from the top and with no chance of fighting for victory, finished with -7 and -2 respectively.