Australia’s Cameron Smith produced a shocking ultimate spherical to clinch the a hundred and fiftieth Open and trigger a shock Rory McIlroy a significant upset.
McIlroy closed a two-shot lead halfway by means of the ultimate spherical at St Andrews and carded a bogey-free 70, however that was not sufficient to finish his eight-year drought on the sport’s greatest match.
Smith, who held the lead on the midway mark earlier than dropping a fourth-quick third-round 73, fired eight birdies – together with 5 in a row from 10 – to publish his second 64 of the week to complete 20 beneath par, beating the earlier . better of 19 beneath Previous Course set by Tiger Woods in 2000.
Australian Cameron Smith (pictured) has been topped the a hundred and fiftieth Open champion at St Andrews
Smith prompted much more distress for a shocked Rory McIlroy (pictured) at St Andrews.
American Cameron Younger produced a superb eagle on the 18th in his closing 65 to pressure Smith to gap out from two toes along with his ultimate birdie, leaving McIlroy needing his eagle to pressure a four-hole playoff.
Nonetheless, the 33-year-old was unable to provide the magic second and needed to accept a degree that meant Smith may rejoice a shocking victory on the Home of Golf.
McIlroy and fellow Ryder Cup participant Viktor Hovland began the day 4 pictures forward of the workforce after a third-round 66, with Hovland the primary to stumble when he holed a protracted four-putt.
American Cameron Younger (pictured) made a superb eagle on the 18th gap at The Open.
An erratic drive meant Hovland could not attain the par 5 in two, however McIlroy simply discovered the placing space with a giant iron shot and two putts for his first birdie of the day to maneuver two up.
Smith, who had lined the entrance 9 in 34, birdied the tenth and eleventh to shut inside considered one of McIlroy, with the Northern Irishman instantly responding.
Though he had pushed the inexperienced on the tenth, McIlroy was near the flag on the eighth on a shared inexperienced, however had two-putted from 125 toes.
Smith made three consecutive birdies after driving the inexperienced on the twelfth and when he additionally birdied 18 toes on the thirteenth, McIlroy had firm again on the leaderboard.
A motivated Smith then took an outright lead by extending his birdie streak to 5 on the 14th.
A motivated Smith then took an outright lead by extending his birdie streak to 5 with a two-putt from behind the inexperienced on the par-five 14th, one thing that has seen greater than McIlroy within the group again.
Smith seemed to be in peril of falling on the notorious seventeenth when his strategy got here shut and left his option to the flag blocked by the Street Gap fairway, however the world quantity six calmly rose to 12 toes and held on for the essential par.
McIlroy was unable to transform his lengthy birdie putt on the seventeenth when Smith stopped from exterior the 18th inexperienced to arrange a birdie, earlier than enjoying accomplice Younger with a hole-in-one from 15 toes for eagle.
Smith calmly transformed his birdie putt and regarded like McIlroy could not deny him and declare a late fifth main.
Smith calmly transformed his birdie putt and regarded like McIlroy could not deny him
McIlroy received the Open at Royal Liverpool in 2014, however an ankle harm sustained whereas enjoying soccer dominated him out of a bid to retain the Claret Jug at St Andrews the next yr.
The 33-year-old admitted this week it felt just like the title protection he by no means had and he loved a great begin with a 66, the identical rating he shot to start out his straight-set win at Hoylake.
It continued a development of excellent begins for the Northern Irishman, whose opening 73 at April’s Masters meant he had received a mixed 35 within the first spherical of majors since his final win on the 2014 US PGA.
Since then he began with a 65 on the US PGA and a 67 on the US Open, however he was very conscious of failing to transform these into late victories, a 3rd spherical of 74 doing the harm at Southern Hills and a 73 on the identical time. motion in Brookline to show the identical price.
This time there was no fading of McIlroy’s problem, however he had no reply to a powerful efficiency from Smith, who provides a significant title to his Gamers Championship win earlier this yr.
A gracious McIlroy mentioned: ‘I used to be overwhelmed by the most effective man this week; A 20 beneath spherical right here is fairly spectacular, particularly capturing a 64 to make it.
‘I can not be too upset due to the way in which this yr has gone. I am enjoying the most effective golf I’ve performed in a very long time. It is only a case of preserve knocking on the door.
‘I will be positive, it isn’t life and demise and I am going to get one other likelihood. It is one which I really feel like I’ve given up on however there will likely be different alternatives. The putter was a bit cooler at the moment in comparison with the final three days.
‘My (lodge) room is reverse the massive yellow leaderboard behind the 18th and I used to be making an attempt to think about my title up there. It was up at the moment nevertheless it will not be tomorrow.’
Relive all of the motion from Sportsmail’s dwell weblog for the ultimate day of the 2022 Open, together with tee instances, leaderboards and updates all through.