Cameron Smith rallies to win British Open at St. Andrews
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Cameron Smith charged his way into history on the Old Course, a Sunday stunner at St. Andrews that sent the Australian to his first major by overcoming Rory McIlroy to win the British Open.
The stage was set for McIlroy to end his eight-year drought in the majors and cap off a week of celebration at the home of golf in the 150th Open.
Instead, Smith stole the show by running off five straight birdies to start the back nine and delivering more clutch moments at the end. His 8-under 64 was the lowest final round by a champion in the 30 times golf’s oldest championship has been played at St. Andrews.
Smith won by one shot over Cameron Young, who holed a 15-foot eagle putt on the final hole to ever-so-briefly tie for the lead.
Smith, who saved par on the 17th with a 10-foot putt, was at the front of the 18th green with his tee shot. From 80 feet away, his pace up the slope and toward the cup was close to perfect, leaving him a tap-in birdie to finish at 20-under 268. Smith matched the major championship record to par, last reached by Dustin Johnson in the 2020 Masters held in November.
McIlroy needed eagle to tie him, and his chip through the Valley of Sin had no chance. He missed the birdie and wound up with a 70 to finish third.
Smith is the first Australian to win at St. Andrews since Kel Nagle in 1960.
PGA TOUR AND EUROPEAN TOUR
TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) — Chez Reavie won the Barracuda Championship on Sunday, holding on in the breezy final round of the PGA Tour’s lone modified Stableford scoring event for his third tour title.
Six points ahead entering the day, Reavie had a six-point round for a one-point victory over Alex Noren on Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood layout.
The 40-year-old Reavie became the first PGA Tour winner 40 or over since Lucas Glover a year ago in the 2021 John Deere Classic. The Arizona player finished with 43 points.
With the event also sanctioned by the European tour, Reavie earned spots on both tours through the 2024 seasons. He also won the 2008 Canadian Open and 2019 Travelers Championship.
Reavie had four birdies and two bogeys Sunday. Players get five points for eagle and two for birdie, while a point is deducted for bogey and three taken away for double bogey or worse.
Noren had a 14-point round. The Swede is a 10-time winner on the European tour who joined the PGA Tour in 2018.
KORN FERRY TOUR
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Paul Haley II won the Memorial Health Championship to wrap up a PGA Tour spot next season, shooting a 7-under 64 for a three-stroke victory.
Haley jumped from 14th to second in the Korn Ferry Tour season standings, with the final top 25 getting PGA Tour cards. Also the winner of the tour’s 2012 Chile Classic, the 34-year-old Haley finished at 27-under 257 at Creek Country Club. He shot a 61 on Saturday.
Austin Eckroat was second after a 68.
Anna Nordqvist won the Ladies European Tour’s Big Green Egg Open at Rosendaelsche Golf Club in the Netherlands. The Swede closed with an even-par-72 for a one-stroke victory of Sarah Schober. Nordqvist finished at 7-under 281. ... Ina Yoon won the Korean LPGA’s Evercollagen Queens Crown, finishing with a 2-under 70 for a one-stroke victory. She finished at 20 under at Lakewood in Yangju, South Korea. ... Marc Hammer won the Euram Bank Open in Austria for his first European Challenge Tour title. The German closed with a birdie for a 4-under 66 and a two-stroke victory. He finished at 10 under at Adamstal Golf Club. ... Australia’s Richard Green beat England’s Phillip Archer with a birdie on the fifth hole of a playoff in the Legends Tour’s Winstongolf Senior Open in Germany.