Cameron Smith makes golf history with 'insane' Open triumph

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Cameron Smith, pictured here with the Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship.
Cameron Smith celebrates with the Claret Jug after winning The Open Championship. Image: Getty

Australia's Cameron Smith has won The Open Championship in extraordinary scenes at St Andrews, shooting the equal-lowest final-round score by a winner at the famous major.

Smith wrote his name into Australian sporting folklore on Sunday with a spectacular comeback victory at the landmark 150th British Open.

INSANE: Rory McIlroy's moment of magic lights up The Open

SO SAD: Tiger Woods reduced to tears in devastating scenes

With five successive birdies to start the back nine, Smith chased down home hope Rory McIlroy to become the first Australian to claim the famous Claret Jug since Greg Norman at Royal St George's in 1993.

"Ah, geez, what a week. I'm going to fall apart here, I know," Smith said, choking back tears after being handed the coveted trophy.

"All the names on there, every player that's been at the top of their game has won this championship.

"Yeah, it's pretty cool to be on there. It really hasn't sunk in yet. I don't think it will for a few weeks. Yeah, it's just unreal."

The 28-year-old Queenslander closed with a record-breaking eight-under-par 64 on Sunday to capture his elusive maiden major championship after two near misses at the Masters.

His final round was the equal-lowest ever shot by a winner of The Open, while his 20-under score for the tournament broke Tiger Woods’ St Andrews record - set in 2000.

Smith won by a shot from American Cameron Young, who eagled the last for a 65 to force Smith to hole a clutch two-foot birdie putt to deny the American a four-hole playoff.

McIlroy finished a further stroke back at 18 under following a final-round 70.

"Disappointed obviously," McIlroy said.

"But, look, I got beaten by a better player this week - 20 under par for four rounds of golf around here is really, really impressive playing, especially to go out and shoot 64 today to get it done."

Cameron Smith, pictured here celebrating with The Claret Jug after winning The 150th Open at St Andrews.
Cameron Smith celebrates with The Claret Jug after winning The 150th Open at St Andrews. (Photo by Stephen Pond/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Cameron Smith makes golf history to win The Open

Smith's four-round total of 20 under equalled Henrik Stenson's 72-hole Open scoring record and bettered Woods' record tally at St Andrews by a stroke.

"I want to thank my team back there for all their hard work. All the hard work we've done the last couple of years has really started to pay off and this one definitely makes it worth it," Smith said.

"To the fans, I had a lot of support out there - especially the Aussie guys. It seemed like there were a lot out there.

"You guys really kept me going out there. You kept me plugging away - this one's for Oz!"

Cameron Smith, pictured here with The Claret Jug after winning The Open at St Andrews.
Cameron Smith poses with The Claret Jug after winning The Open at St Andrews. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Smith is Australia's first men's major winner since Jason Day won the PGA Championship in 2015 at Whistling Straits.

His magical triumph came after the Queenslander started the final round four strokes behind Northern Ireland's McIlroy and Norway's Viktor Hovland.

In etching his name in the history books after winning golf's oldest and greatest championship, Smith also becomes the first player to complete The Players-British Open double since the legendary Jack Nicklaus in 1978.

He is Australia's fifth winner of the Open after Norman, who also reigned at Turnberry in 1986, Ian Baker Finch (1991), Kel Nagle (1960) and five-times champion Peter Thomson (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1965).

Nagle and Thomson are the only other Australians to have won the Open on the Old Course at the home of golf.

But not even those two greats completed victory in such grand style.

Smith's 64 is the equal-lowest-ever final round from an Open champion and matched Norman's 64 on the par-71 layout at Sandwich in 1993.

With Minjee Lee winning the US Women's Open last month, Smith's victory also completed the first Australian men's and women's major championship double in a calendar year.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting