The Open: Smith 'lost for words' after claiming maiden major at St Andrews

By Sports Desk July 17, 2022

Cameron Smith struggled to find the words to describe his first major victory but said he achieved "something I've always dreamt of" after triumphing at The Open.

The Australian lifted the Claret Jug following a wonderful final-round 64 at St Andrews, which saw him finish on 20 under par.

Smith headed into the final round on Sunday four shots back from the leading duo of Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland.

Yet an impressive streak of gains on five consecutive holes after the turn saw him leap to the summit on 19 under.

He then held his nerve as the pressure intensified, saving par with a tricky putt on the 17th before a birdie on the last saw him edge out playing partner Cameron Young by one stroke and McIlroy by two.

Smith, who joined the likes of Tiger Woods and Seve Ballesteros in lifting the Claret Jug at St Andrews, revealed his pride at triumphing on the 150th anniversary of the Open on the iconic Old Course.

"First and foremost, I want to thank the team," he told Sky Sports. "All the hard work we've done over the last couple of years is really starting to pay off. This one definitely makes it worth it.

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

"I had a lot of support out there, especially the Aussie guys – you guys really kept me going out there. This one is for Oz!

"It's just unreal. This place is so cool. To have the 150th Open here and walk away with the win, it's something I've always dreamt of. I didn't even know I was going to get this far, it's just awesome.

"To look at these names on this trophy and then add mine, it's unreal, I'm lost for words. I'm definitely going to find out how many beers fit in this thing, that's for sure!"

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  • The Open: McIlroy and DeChambeau miss the cut as Lowry takes lead The Open: McIlroy and DeChambeau miss the cut as Lowry takes lead

    Rory McIlroy has missed the cut in the second round of The Open, having failed to improve on his dismal score from the first.

    The Northern Irishman had hopes of clinching a first major title in a decade, but his wait will stretch into an 11th year after carding 75 on Friday.

    McIlroy went round in a seven-over par 78 in the first round and continued to toil at Royal Troon as he finished 11 over.

    Bryson DeChambeau, who pipped McIlroy to the U.S. Open title at Pinehurst last month, did not fare much better.

    On the back of his best major run to date, finishing tied sixth at The Masters before finishing as a runner-up at the PGA Championship, the American came unstuck in Scotland once more, shooting 75 to finish nine over.

    Meanwhile, Shane Lowry holds the lead going into the weekend, recovering brilliantly from a double bogey to give himself a two-stroke lead over Daniel Brown and Justin Rose (both on five under).

    Rose finished strongly, holing his putt on the 18th from a long way out to finish with a three-under 68 for the day to put himself into contention for a first Claret Jug.

    The Scottish Open winner Robert MacIntyre also staged a remarkable comeback. Having played the first four holes in eight over, he scored four under on the next 14 to make the cut.

    Scottie Scheffler (two under) and Xander Schauffele (one under) also kept themselves in with a chance.

  • The Open: Lowry pleased with double-bogey response on way to clubhouse lead The Open: Lowry pleased with double-bogey response on way to clubhouse lead

    Shane Lowry says he is feeling "calm and composed" after recovering from a double-bogey to establish the clubhouse lead on day two at The Open.

    The 2019 champion began the day at five under at Royal Troon - a shot behind leader Daniel Brown - and birdied the first, fourth and eight holes to reach seven under at the turn.

    However, things started to go wrong on the notorious par-four 11th, when a stray tee shot into the rough was followed by a hook into a gorse bush, with Lowry having to settle for six and moving back to par for the day.

    Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman held his nerve in the windy conditions, with four successive pars followed by two birdies on the final three holes.

    The second of these saw him roll in a beautiful 20-footer, and Lowry was thrilled by the way he responded to the setback to put himself in a promising position.

    "I was in control of my ball and did all the right things for a lot of the round," he told reporters. "Then when I got in a bit of trouble, I feel like I really finished the round well.

    "I'm pretty happy with the day. To be leading this tournament after two days; it's why you come here, it's why we're here.

    "The job tomorrow as well is to try to put myself in a position to win this tournament on Sunday, and that's what I'll try and do."

    "I have felt quite calm and composed the last couple of days. I've felt really in my comfort zone. To shoot in the 60s is very good any day on this course, even when the conditions aren't this bad. I'm very happy."

  • The Open: Woods to miss cut after finishing 14 over, plans to play next year The Open: Woods to miss cut after finishing 14 over, plans to play next year

    Tiger Woods suggested he will play The Open again next year after a six-over final round ensured he would miss the cut at the 2024 event at Royal Troon.

    Woods entered Friday's second round needing a big turnaround after carding an eight-over 79 on Thursday, but he struggled again as his major season came to a premature end.

    He shot 77 to finish 14 over par with the projected cut line at four over. Having finished 60th at the Masters, he also failed to make the weekend at the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.

    The 15-time major champion lamented his physical struggles when speaking to reporters at the end of his round.

    "I was just fighting it pretty much all day," Woods said. "I never really hit it close enough to make birdies and consequently made a lot of bogeys.

    "I loved it. I've always loved playing major championships. I just wish I was more physically sharp coming into the majors.

    "Obviously it tests you mentally, physically, emotionally, and I just wasn't as sharp as I needed to be. I was hoping that I would find it somehow, but just never did.

    "Consequently, my results and scores were pretty high."

    Woods will not compete again until the Hero World Challenge, an event he hosts in the Bahamas in December, despite previously targeting one event per month in 2024.

    He does, however, plan to return for the 153rd Open next year, which will take place at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

    "As a past champion, I’m exempt until I'm 60," he said. "I've enjoyed the challenges that Scotland brings, I've missed playing Troon. 

    "I've had some good memories here and just wish I did a little bit better, but I look forward to that."

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