Cameron Smith described winning the 150th Open Championship as the highlight of any golfers career as he came from four shots behind to win the Claret Jug by the minimum and capture his maiden major title.
The Australian shot a superb eight-under 64 for a twenty-under total and he laid the gauntlet down for the rest of the field with five successive birdies on the back nine.
Fellow Australian Ken Nagle won the 100th Open Championship fifty years ago and Smith’s win has created a nice piece of history.
“That’s pretty cool. I didn’t know that. I think, to win an Open Championship in itself is probably going to be a golfer’s highlight in their career. To do it around St Andrews, I think is just unbelievable.
“This place is so cool. I love the golf course. I love the town. Yeah, hopefully we can keep that trend going with the every 50 years. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”
The Aussie is the first Open winner since a certain Greg Norman and the first major winner since Jason Day in 2015 and while Smith was coy on the persistent LIV Golf links he feels the key to winning was how he chanelled the frustation of round three after he saw himself cough up a two-shot halfway advantage.
“I’ve definitely kicked myself a couple of times over the past few years. To do it the way I did today was pretty cool to be back and really apply pressure, keep holing putts. Yeah, it was awesome.
“Yeah, I think I was really frustrated yesterday with how the round went. I just really put it down to links golf. I think you really have those days on these courses where you get a bit of a weird bounce here and there and puts you in a bad spot.
“So I shrugged it off pretty good, I think, last night. I really didn’t dwell on it too much. Yeah, but to go out there and really stick my head down and keep making birdies and keep making putts, yeah, it was really cool. I think that definitely helped yesterday.”
It has been a fantastic season for Smith who lifted the Players Championship earlier this year and he believes winning the PGA Tour’s flagship event gave him the belief he could win a major title.
“But I think it’s just honestly belief. The Players at the start of the year, with the best field in golf, to go away with the win was a really big confidence booster. I knew it wasn’t going to be too long before I got one of these. I’ve knocked on the door, I think, maybe one too many times now. So it’s nice to get it done.”