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Cameron Smith wins The 150th Open at St Andrews

Cameron Smith wins The 150th Open at St Andrews

Cameron Smith secured his maiden Major title at The 150th Open Championship after producing a back-nine birdie blitz to keep Rory McIlroy waiting for his fifth Major crown.


The Australian went into the final round four shots behind overnight co-leaders McIlroy and Viktor Hovland but produced eight birdies in a sparkling 64 to storm to a historic one-shot victory at St Andrews.

A patient display on the front nine kept Smith in the hunt on Sunday afternoon as birdies at the second and fifth took him to 14 under par.

But he caught fire after the turn, reeling off five birdies in a row from the tenth thanks to a short game masterclass to take over at the top of the leaderboard.

After making a nerveless par save from ten feet on the tricky 17th, Smith birdied the 18th to get to 20 under par.

With McIlroy two behind with just one hole left to play, Smith's victory was sealed as the Northern Irishman failed to make an eagle at the last.

Cameron Young finished alone in second on 19 under courtesy of a closing eagle, with McIlroy one shot further back in third.

Smith remained patient on the front nine, with birdies at the second and fifth taking him to the turn in 34 shots.

After beginning the back nine with a birdie on the tenth, Smith sent his tee-shot to 16 feet at the short 11th before rolling in the birdie putt.

He made it a hat-trick of gains after two-putting from distance on the 12th green before grabbing a share of the lead with yet another stunning putt at the 13th.

The Australian knocked McIlroy off the top of the leaderboard with a fifth straight birdie at the 14th, rolling in from five feet to jump to 19 under.

His birdie run came to an end with a solid par on the 15th before another par at the next saw him head to the 17th tee with a slender one-stroke lead.

After failing to find the green in two at the Road Hole, Smith did brilliantly to save par there from ten feet.

And a close-range birdie on the last put him out of McIlroy's reach and secured him the Claret Jug.

At the presentation ceremony, an emotional Smith said: "First and foremost I want to thank the team. All the hard work we've done in the last couple of years has really started to pay off and this one definitely makes it worth it.

"It was just absolutely awesome out there. I thought the course was exactly how an Open Championship should be played - firm and fast, tough pins. It was just unreal.

"To the fans. I had a lot of support out there, especially the Aussie guys who really kept me going out there. This one’s for Oz. Thanks guys."

He added: "I think to win an Open Championship in itself is probably going to be a golfer's highlight in their career.

"To do it around St Andrews, I think is just unbelievable.

"This place is so cool. I love the golf course. I love the town.

"To do it the way I did today was pretty cool to be back and really apply pressure, keep holing putts. Yeah, it was awesome."

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