Australian sensation Cameron Smith (aka Cam Smith), who started the day four shots behind leaders Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, rode a final-round 64 to the 150th Open Championship victory and the title of Champion Golfer of the Year.
Smith (-20) tied for the lowest score to par in major championship history, and his 30 on Sunday’s back nine was the lowest score for any major champion for the entire second half of a round.
Smith was absolutely magnificent as he rediscover the putting magic that originally got him to the 36-hole lead, making up for the letdown of his third round. After shooting a 34 on the front, he went low on five straight holes from Nos. 10 -14, taking advantage of every scoring opportunity at the Old Course on his way to stealing the lead from McIlroy.
He finished the day with eight birdies and no bogeys.
Despite the birdie barrage, Smith may reflect that his par save on the 17th was the turning point in his championship.
He used his perfect weapon, the putter, to get up and down on St. Andrews’ most challenging hole.
Smith became the first major champion in modern history to sign for two rounds of 64 or worse, taking the wind out of McIlroy’s sails.
He lost in the third round due to his aggressive play, but it was exactly this that helped him win on Sunday, joining Jack Nicklaus (1978) as the only players to win both the Players Championship and The Open in the same year.