Smith performed one of the best closing rounds in majors history to win the Claret Jug after starting the final round at St. Andrews four strokes behind overnight leaders Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland.
The 28-year fired a bogey-free, eight-under, which featured five straight birdies at the turn and another on hole 18, was bogey-free and finally resulted in the A$3.7 million victory.
McIlroy also played without a bogey, but his putting struggled as only two of his birdie attempts in the fourth round, which saw him finish third at 18-under, were successful.
Cameron Smith wins Open Championship
Cameron Young finished in second position after shooting seven under on Monday (AEST), which featured an eagle at the 18th and briefly brought him equal with Smith.
That placed more pressure on Smith’s two-foot birdie putt, but the Queenslander didn’t flinch as he completed a 20-under round.
The Open champion has never shot lower in the final round than Smith, who also broke Tiger Woods’ 2000 St. Andrews record with a 20-under total. ESPN claims that Smith is the only golfer to have birdied the opening five holes on the back nine during the final round of a major in the previous 20 years.
When Smith missed his second shot short and behind the pot bunker on the notoriously tricky 17th, he was just about to lose a stroke.
He took a calculated risk by placing his third shot in the centre of the green. He then made a crucial, 10-foot par putt to keep a one-shot lead going into the last round.
At the 18th hole, the 28-year-old made a flawless birdie, forcing McIlroy, the popular favourite, to make an eagle. McIlroy was left with a 25-meter shot for eagle to force a playoff but was unable to make it. He was unable to drive the green.
Smith is the first Australian to win a men’s major since Jason Day in 2015 (PGA Championship). Since Greg Norman in 1993, no Australian has won the Claret Jug.
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