Hole by hole: How Cam Smith won the Open Championship

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Hole by hole: How Cam Smith won the Open Championship

By Billie Eder

Cameron Smith became only the fifth Australian to lift the Claret Jug after the 28-year-old Australian won the 150th Open Championships on Monday morning.

After taking out his first major title, and equalling the record score of 20 under, Smith said he couldn’t believe who his name would now sit alongside in the history books.

“It’s unreal to look at the names on this trophy,” Smith said. “I think my second shot into 13 was really when I thought that we can win this thing.”

Coming into the final round Smith was fourth on the leaderboard on a score of 12 under, four behind leaders Viktor Hovland (-16) and Rory McIlroy (-16).

But with a round that included eight birdies, Smith was able to keep American Cameron Young (-19) at bay and surge past Irishman McIlroy (-18) to claim the famous win.

Cameron Smith won the 150th edition of The Open.

Cameron Smith won the 150th edition of The Open.Credit:AP

Hole by hole, shot by shot, here is how the Australian took out the title.

Hole one - Burn - Par 4, 343 metres

With one of the widest fairways in golf, the first hole at St Andrews shares its fairway with the 18th, and Smith used a three iron to hit the ball 240 metres to get his fourth round underway.

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Cameron Smith tees off the first hole during the final round of the British Open.

Cameron Smith tees off the first hole during the final round of the British Open.Credit:Getty

It was a smooth start for Smith, whose ball fell just short of the hole on his third shot, denying him a birdie to start the round. But it was better than Young, who started his round with a bogey on the first.

Hole two - Dyke - Par 4, 413 metres

Smith didn’t have to wait long before claiming his first birdie of the day.

A 283-metre drive up the fairway, followed by a 131-metre approach, had Smith within two metres of the hole. He easily drained the putt to take his score to -13, and overtake Cameron Young for third on the leaderboard.

Hole three - Cartgate (Out) - Par 4, 364 metres

Smith used his 3-wood for a 280-metre shot from the third tee, which avoided the line of bunkers on the right-hand side, and allowed for a smooth 99-metre second shot to land his ball onto the green.

But Smith was denied back-to-back birdies after his putt fell just short of the hole. He tapped in for a four and maintained third position on the leaderboard.

Cameron Smith uses his 3-wood off the third tee.

Cameron Smith uses his 3-wood off the third tee.Credit:Getty

Hole four - Ginger Beer - Par 4, 439 metres

A 302-metre teeshot landed Smith just to the left of the fairway, and a crisply struck 149-metre approach carried his ball onto the green.

Par came easily for Smith, whose first putt left him just short of the hole.

Hole five - Hole O’Cross (Out) - Par 5, 521 metres

Smith’s 304-metre drive landed him in the rough on the left-hand side of the fairway, but a superb second shot out of the rough landed him on the green in two.

Cameron Smith hits his ball out of the rough on the 5th fairway.

Cameron Smith hits his ball out of the rough on the 5th fairway.Credit:AP

On one of the longest holes on the course, Smith secured his second birdie of the day by putting his first putt inside a metre from the hole, which he finished off easily.

Hole six - Heathery (Out) - Par 4, 379 metres

A 277-metre drive landed Smith in the rough for a second hole in a row, but the Australian kept his cool and hit a 119-metre approach that placed him on the green just behind the hole.

He just missed a putt for birdie. Birdies from the fast-charging Young on the third, fourth and fifth holes saw him draw level Smith on 14 under.

Hole seven - High (Out) - Par 4, 339 metres

Smith teed off with an iron at the seventh hole, which bows slightly to the right.

He managed to avoid the enormous shell bunker which lies to the right of the course, and was able to safely get to the green and two-putt for four.

Cameron Smith tees off the seventh hole during the fourth round.

Cameron Smith tees off the seventh hole during the fourth round. Credit:Getty

Hole eight - Short - Par 3, 171 metres

Smith couldn’t have asked for a more perfect first shot from the eighth tee, with a 174-metre gem that landed clear of the bunkers and in perfect sight of the hole.

A 24-metre putt had Smith within two metres, before he sealed it in three.

A birdie from Young on the seventh meant that Smith was knocked down to fourth on the leaderboard, however. McIlroy was able to maintain his lead with a birdie on the fifth.

Hole nine - End - Par 4, 322 metres

Finishing out the front nine, Smith smoked a 306-metre monster drive that took him almost the entire length of the hole. But with a birdie there for the taking, Smith just couldn’t put it away in three.

A 36 on the front nine secured a top four position for the Queenslander as he turned for home, on a score of 14 under.

Hole ten - Bobby Jones - Par 4, 353 metres

Using a 3-wood, Smith’s belted his ball landed safely 315 metres and onto the fairway, and a clean wedge saw him finish only 1.5 metres from the hole.

It was a simple putt for Smith, and he was able to put the ball away to claim his third birdie of the day and take his score to 15 under. It was the beginning a charge for Smith.

Hole eleven - High (In) - Par 3, 159 metres

A beautiful first shot at the eleventh had Smith within five metres of the hole, and he glided a brilliant five-metre putt across the green to make it back-to-back birdies. Smith moved to 16 under, and within two of leader McIlroy.

Cameron Smith putts on the 11th green for a birdie in the final round.

Cameron Smith putts on the 11th green for a birdie in the final round.Credit:AP

Hole twelve - Heathery (In) - Par 4, 321 metres

A powerful 304-metre drive helped Smith avoid early bunkers and find the front edge of the green. Nineteen metres from the hole, Smith came close to getting his first eagle of the round, but the ball slowed coming across the ridge and left him with 3.4 metre putt for a three.

Smith nailed it and moved to 17 under, and within one shot of the lead.

Hole thirteen - Hole O’Cross (In) - Par 4, 425 metres

Smith drove his ball 270 metres to the left of the fairway, avoiding the bunkers. Replicating a shot similar to one he struggled with the day before, Smith stayed calm with the approach and dropped the ball 5.5 metres of the hole. His exceptional putting saw him nail the shot, and bank yet another birdie.

It was the fourth birdie in a row for Smith and saw him take a share of the lead with McIlroy on 18 under.

Hole fourteen - Long - Par 5, 561 metres

Smith’s 288-metre drive flew past the bunkers on the left-hand side of the 14th, before using his 3-wood to take his ball 287 metres and up onto the fairway just behind the hole.

A fantastic uphill putt left him within 1.5 metres of the hole, which Smith easily put away for his fifth straight birdie. Cameron Smith’s name was now at the top of the leaderboard, with a score of 19 under.

Hole fifteen - Cartgate (In) - Par 4, 416 metres

Smith had a bit too much on his drive at the start of the fifteenth, landing himself in the rough on the right-hand side of the fairway. He scrambled well with 144-metre approach, but was unlucky it didn’t roll its way further down the green towards the hole.

Cam Smith plays out of the rough at the 15th.

Cam Smith plays out of the rough at the 15th.Credit:Getty

Closing out the hole in four meant that Smith ended his run of birdies, but he still remained ahead of McIlroy, moving into the final three holes of the course.

Hole sixteen - Corner of the Dyke - Par 4, 382 metres

Back in the rough for a second hole in a row, Smith’s first shot carried his ball 217 metres, but it drifted a little too far into the left side of the hole.

Cameron Smith lines up his putt on the 16th green.

Cameron Smith lines up his putt on the 16th green.Credit:Getty

But his second shot took the ball up and onto the green and within 8.5 metres of the hole.

An eight-metre putt bowed ever so slightly around the hole, denying Smith of an eighth birdie.

Hole seventeen - Road - Par 4, 453 metres

With two holes to go Smith was hoping to get a birdie on the 17th, but his second shot of 144 metres just fell short of the green. He was lucky to pull up short of the infamous Road Hole bunker.

Smith’s third shot will be remembered for decades, however, with the Australian taking a putter instead of a wedge and using the curve of the bunker to skirt around the trap, roller-coaster style. He put the ball safely onto the green and nailed a knee-trembling par putt.

Hole eighteen - Tom Morris - Par 4, 326 metres

A birdie or better on the 18th hole would almost definitely secure victory for Smith, but you can never count out the other opponents and even with an eagle on the 18th, Young was only 19 under.

Cam Smith tees off on the 18th hole.

Cam Smith tees off on the 18th hole.Credit:Getty

A 299-metre drive up the fairway put Smith within 24 metres of the hole, and a controlled putt left his ball under two metres from the hole.

Smith put the ball away easily to take his score to 20 under, equalling the best, and securing himself victory at the 150th Open Championship.

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