Sunday, July 17, 2022

The British Open, Final Round

On Saturday, Cameron Smith struggled to a 73, while Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland shot sizzling 66's.  So McIlroy and Hovland were tied at 16-under, while the Camerons (Smith and Young) were 12-under par, four shots behind.  It looked as though the final round was set for a showdown between two of the most glamorous European golfers.  But that was not what happened.  On Sunday, Hovland never really got going at all, and shot himself out of contention with a two-over par 74.  McIlroy never made any big mistakes, and shot a two-under par 70 that normally would be enough for victory when one starts off with a four-shot lead.

But not today.  Today belonged to the Camerons.  The American Cameron (Young), who was widely expected to fade, shot an extraordinary 65, capped off with an eagle-2 on the 18th hole.  That put him at 19-under par, and was good enough to beat McIlroy by a shot.

But it wasn't good enough to beat Cameron Smith.  The man from Brisbane, Australia, who's been near the top of the leaderboard all year, had a round for the ages.  He went out with a two-under par 34, and then on the back nine he did this:

10th hole:  birdie
11th hole:  birdie
12th hole:  birdie
13th hole:  birdie
14th hole:  birdie

At this point, he was in the lead with a score of 19-under par.  McIlroy was 18-under, and Young was 17-under.  Young eventually got to 19-under with that eagle on the last hole, but by then Smith had a three-footer on 18 for yet another birdie that brought him home in only 30 strokes for the back nine.  In the 150th British Open, on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Cameron Smith shot one of the greatest rounds in golf history -- a near-perfect 64 that beat Smith's 65 by one shot, and that give him a two-shot win over McIlroy.

It was a disappointment for the British fans, of course, who were all rooting for Rory.  And it was a disappointment for Young, who shot a 65 and still lost.  But it was almost perfect golf, and attention must be paid.  So congratulations to Cameron Smith of Australia, who capped off the 2022 major season with a bang.

I now have no idea what we sports fans are supposed to do until the end of August.  I'll probably buy school supplies and fiddle around with my stereo equipment.  This would have been a good year to play the Summer Olympics.

1.  C. Smith (AUS):  -20 (67+64+73+64=268)

2.  C. Young-19 (64+69+71+65=269)

3.  R. McIlroy (NIR):  -18 (66+68+66+70=270)

T4.  T. Fleetwood (ENG):  -14 (72+69+66+67=274)
T4.  V. Hovland (NOR):  -14 (68+66+66+74=274)

T6.  B. Harman-13 (73+68+68+66=275)
T6.  D. Johnson-13 (68+67+71+69=275)

T8.  B. DeChambeau-12 (69+74+67+66=276)
T8.  P. Cantlay-12 (70+67+71+68=276)
T8.  J. Spieth-12 (71+69+68+68=276)

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