ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP)A brief look at the final round Sunday of the British Open at St. Andrews:
VICTOR: Cameron Smith closed with an 8-under 64 for a one-shot victory and his first major.
SPOILS: Smith won $2.5 million, the silver claret jug, a gold medal, an exemption to the British Open through 2053 (at age 60), and typically five-year exemptions into the Masters, the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open.
SILVER MEDAL: Cameron Young (65) made a 15-foot eagle on the last hole to finish second.
PURPLE HEART: Rory McIlroy was trying to end eight years without a major. Tied for the lead with Viktor Hovland to start the final round, he hit every green in regulation and two-putted every hole. He made two birdies for a 70 and finished third.
RECORD BOOKS: Smith finished at 20-under 268 for the lowest score ever in a British Open at St. Andrews. It matched the lowest score to par in any major championship.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Smith was 90 feet away from the hole on the par-5 14th when he used his putter to roll it up a huge mound and let it feed down to tap-in range for his fifth consecutive birdie and the first time he was in the lead.
ROUND OF THE DAY: Sam Burns and Smith each had 64. For Smith, the 64 was the lowest final round by an Open champion at St. Andrews.
KEY STATISTIC: Smith took only 11 putts in regulation over the final nine holes.
NOTEWORTHY: Smith is fifth Australian to win the Open and the third to win it at St. Andrews, joining Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle.
QUOTEWORTHY: ”There’s a worthy winner right on the 18th green right now.” – Rory McIlroy as Cameron Smith was accepting the claret jug.
NEXT YEAR: The Open returns to Royal Liverpool in 2023.
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