Starting the day four strokes behind the leaders Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, the legendary Australian Cameron Smith rode a final round of 64 to become the Champion Golfer of the Year as the winner of the 150th Open Championship. Smith (-20) tied the lowest score to finish in a major tournament, and his 30 on the back 9 Sunday was the lowest in the last half of any major tournament.

Making up for the frustration on his third round, Smith was brilliant as he regained the magic that led to his 36-hole lead. He had eight birdies with no bogeys on Sunday, opening with a 34 before dropping five consecutive holes from Nos. from McIlroy.

Even though the birdies were out of sorts, it was a save on the 17th that Smith looks back on as the defining moment of his tournament. In the back yard of the Road Hole fairway, he used his biggest tool – the putter – to get up and down the most difficult hole in St. Andrews.

Taking the wind out of McIlroy’s sails, Smith became the first major in modern history to score two rounds of 64 or lower. His aggressive play cost him the third round but it was what led to Sunday’s victory as he joined Jack Nicklaus (1978) as the only men to win the Players Championship and The Open in the same year.

Here is the breakdown of the final scoreboard for the 150th Open Championship.

1. Cameron Smith (-20): Playing spoiler for McIlroy, Smith was able to make up for the mistakes of his third round with an 8-under 64. He gained nearly 10 strokes over the first two days and even rode his hot streak on Sunday. It was the middle of his last game where he went 2 under before firing on the front nine. Five straight birdies marked the highlight of his major league career, and he proved that when the lights are on, his game shines. He took down Jon Rahm at the Tournament of Champions, made 10 birdies in the final round of the Players Championship to secure golf’s biggest payday and looked down both St. Andrews to lift the Claret Jug.

2. Cameron Young (-19): Good for his fourth straight finish in his rookie campaign, Young looked like a no-brainer as he made his way to the big leagues. He has now finished on the podium at Riviera, Southern Hills and St. Andrews. The first win of his PGA Tour career is on the horizon. Young would have registered a final round of 7-under 65 earlier in the day, but will be kicking himself for some mistakes. Young three placed No.

3. Rory McIlroy (-18): If the Masters runner-up was a true joy, this must seem like a crushing defeat. Holding a 54-hole lead in a major for the first time in eight years, McIlroy’s lack of aggressiveness and growing maturity could be a thorn in his side. Unable to get anything going on the greens, the four-time major winner birdied the final 39 holes of his tournament to fall two strokes behind Smith. McIlroy became the only player in 2022 to finish in the top 10 at every major tournament, but at this point in his career, he won’t be happy with the call. Rory hasn’t won a major in eight years and now has 17 top-10 finishes in 31 events played over that period.

“I knew I could do it. I know this golf. I play well here. The last two rounds I’ve played here, I’ve finished 3 all the time,” McIlroy said. “It’s coming. I think it’s a great season overall, the second one at Augusta [National]3rd here, 5th at the US Open, 8th at the PGA [Championship] — I’m knocking on the door. I just need to be patient, keep knocking on the door, and eventually someone will open the door for me.”

T4. Viktor Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood (-14): In his first taste of a major competition, Hovland suffered quickly and often when he signed for 2-over 74. Making head-scratching decisions such as keeping the driver in the pocket on the birdie holes to reach, the young Norwegian should put this experience. good use. It marks his first top 10 finish in the majors and could serve as a starting option in 2023.

T6. Dustin Johnson and Brian Harman (-13): After turning 11 after back-to-back birdies at the start of his third round, Johnson played his remaining 33 holes in 2 under. Just too messy and around the pages, the two-time big hitter could only allow a single chance for the winner to appear through his catch. With more uncertainty surrounding his eligibility moving forward, Johnson may have until 2025 to increase his numbers.

T8. Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay (-12): Outside of the second round, DeChambeau was an impressive closer to St. Andrews when he signed rounds of 69-74-67-66 for a total of 12 under. At the end of the week, he used a different method; one has to wonder what his competition would have been if he had been aggressive from the start. The Old Way was not the same as the modern player, and although he was a mad scientist, it was very little once when DeChambeau had St. Andrews.

T15. Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, Francesco Molinari and three others (-10): A three-time winner this season, Schauffele didn’t play himself in the mix surprisingly. After winning his last two games, the Olympic gold medalist sees another big competitive season coming up without making it to the top flight. He has been lucky throughout the years, most recently at the 2021 Masters, but 2022 will be unforgettable.

T21. Shane Lowry, Matt Fitzpatrick, Scottie Scheffler and four others (-9): The 2019 Champion Golfer of the Year made a splash on Saturday with back-to-back golfs, pushing him to the brink of contention. After stumbling at home, Lowry was unable to continue this trend and became inactive in this Open. As consistent as he has been, he has to be disappointed with his performance as he only made one major tournament this season and his T3 finish at the Masters. Scheffler, meanwhile, had an outside chance to get on the board but instead went the other way with a shaky putter and inconsistent play on Sunday.

T28. Will Zalatoris, Tony Finau, Corey Conners and three others (-8): A two-time major winner this season, Zalatoris should be proud of his performance on golf’s biggest course. He entered this week as one of two men to finish in the top 10 at each level and left just shy of collecting all four. Zalatoris pulled out of last year’s Open due to an arm injury and appeared to be able to overcome the golf problem in his debut round of 72 holes.

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