The Open 2022 – Final Round LIVE: British Open leaderboard, tee times and updates

Australian Cameron Smith produced a stunning final round to capture the 150th Open Championship and inflict more major misery on Rory McIlroy, who was horrified by the grenade.

McIlroy had a two-shot lead over St Andrews midway through the final round and made a bogey-free close 70, but that wasn’t enough to end his eight-year drought in the game’s biggest tournaments.

Smith, who held the lead halfway through before falling out of pace by four with a third round of 73, fired eight birdies – including five in a row from 10th – to card his second 64 of the week and finish 20 under par, beating the previous best of 19 under at Tiger Woods Old Course in 2000.

Australian Cameron Smith (pictured) is crowned champion of the 150th Open in St Andrews

Smith gave Rory McIlroy (pictured) even more trouble in St Andrews

Smith gave Rory McIlroy (pictured) even more trouble in St Andrews

American Cameron Young made a brilliant eagle on the 18th in his closing 65 to force Smith off two feet for his final birdie, forcing McIlroy to need his own eagle to force a four-hole playoff.

However, the 33-year-old was unable to produce a moment of magic and had to settle for a par that allowed Smith to celebrate an extraordinary victory in the Home of Golf.

McIlroy and Ryder Cup teammate Viktor Hovland started the day four shots clear of the chasing pack after matching the third round of 66, with Hovland tripping first when he putted the fourth from long distance three.

American Cameron Young (pictured) made a beautiful eagle on the 18th hole at The Open

American Cameron Young (pictured) made a beautiful eagle on the 18th hole at The Open

A faulty drive then meant Hovland was unable to reach par-five fifth in two, but McIlroy easily found the putting surface with a towering iron shot and two-putted for his first birdie of the day to put two ahead .

Smith, who had completed the front nine in 34, birdied the 10th and 11th to close inside one of McIlroy, with the Northern Irishman reacting immediately.

Though he had ridden on the green on 10th, McIlroy was closer to the flag on eighth on the huge shared green, but cool two-putt from 125 feet.

Smith made three birdies in a row after hitting the green on the 12th par-four and when he also holed from 18 feet on the 13th, McIlroy had company again at the top of the standings.

An inspired Smith then took the outright lead by extending his birdie streak to five on the 14th

An inspired Smith then took the outright lead by extending his birdie streak to five on the 14th

An inspired Smith then took the outright lead by extending his birdie streak to five by two-putting from the back of the green on the par-five 14th, slightly more apparent than McIlroy in the group behind.

Smith appeared to fall victim to the infamous 17th when his approach fell short and left his path to the flag blocked by the Road Hole bunker, but the world number six putt calmly to 12 feet and made a hole for a vital pair.

McIlroy was unable to convert his long birdie putt on the 17th, as Smith made a putt from shortly before the 18th green to set up a tap-in birdie, before playing against partner Young who completed a 15-foot hole. made for an eagle.

Smith calmly converted his birdie putt and watched as McIlroy was unable to refuse it and claim an overdue fifth major.

Smith calmly converted his birdie putt and watched as McIlroy couldn't refuse it

Smith calmly converted his birdie putt and watched as McIlroy couldn’t refuse it

McIlroy won the Open at Royal Liverpool in 2014, but an ankle injury sustained while playing football meant he couldn’t try to keep the Claret Jug at St Andrews the following year.

The 33-year-old admitted this week that’s why he felt like he never had the title defense and enjoyed an ideal start with an opening 66, the same score he shot to kick off his wire-to-wire win over Hoylake.

It continued a welcome trend of good starts for the Northern Irishman, whose opening 73 in the April Masters meant he was a combined 35 over par in the first round of majors since his last win in the 2014 US PGA.

Since then, he started with a 65 in the US PGA and a 67 in the US Open, but he was all too aware that he couldn’t convert those into overdue wins, a third round of 74 wreaking havoc on Southern Hills and a 73 simultaneously stage at Brookline proves equally expensive.

This time the battle was no less for McIlroy, but he simply had no response to an incredible performance from Smith, who added a major title to his Players Championship win earlier this year.

A gracious McIlroy said, “I’ve been beaten by the better man this week; 20 under par here is really impressive, especially shooting 64 to get it done.

“I can’t be too despondent about how this year has gone. I play some of the best golf I’ve done in a long time. It’s just a matter of keep knocking on the door.

“I’ll be fine, it’s not life and death and I’ll have other opportunities. It’s one that I feel I let slip, but there will be other opportunities. The putter was a bit cold today compared to the last three days.

‘My (hotel) room is right in front of the big yellow classification behind the 18th and I tried to imagine my name at the top. It was on top today, but it won’t be tomorrow.’

Relive all the action from Sportsmail’s live blog for the final day of the 2022 Open Championship, including tee times, leaderboard and updates throughout.

Leave a Comment