Australian Cameron Smith became the fifth Australian to win the British Open and surpass his season earnings of $13.5 million.
The 28-year-old Queenslander fired an impressive final round 64 to lift the Claret Jug on Sunday.
The Australian edged out fellow Australian Cameron Young by one stroke, suffered heartbreak for third-placed Rory McIlroy, who waited eight years to win another major.
Smith claimed the $2.5 million winners’ check after claiming his first prize of $3.6 million, the top prize on offer at The Players Championship.
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Smith won the Championship in Hawaii earlier in the year and has racked up other good results along the way, meaning he has amassed a staggering US9,189,629 this season – more than $13.5 million Australian.
By joining the Saudi-backed LIV Tour, Smith is racking up big bucks the old-fashioned way in an era when many golfers are cashing in on the big time. By winning.
Yet as a star on the PGA Tour, Smith may soon find himself at the center of golf’s civil war.
The Rebel LIV golf tour was suspended at St Andrews earlier in the week without claret juggler Greg Norman being invited to the winners’ dinner because of his role in launching the last Australian-backed Saudi-backed project.
One of LIV’s most outspoken critics of Smith’s and McIlroy’s exploits was focused on Sunday’s golf, with no chance of an LIV winner.
However, Smith refused to play down speculation that he could be the next big name to try to take the big signing fees offered to players to turn their backs on the traditional PGA and DP World Tours.
But his immediate plan is to fill the claret jug with as much beer as possible to claim victory at the golf course.
“I’d guess two cans of beer,” he replied as to how much it would take to fill it up. I probably have about 20 claret jugs. As for fill-in, Lee Trevino, a Jacksonville-based hairstylist named after another golfer, won’t have a big job when Smith returns stateside.
“I think it will last.”
Cameron Smith Prize in 2022 (in $USD)
Sentry Race of Winners (1st) – $1,476,000
Genesis Invitational (T33) – $64,000
The Players Championship (1st) – $3,600,000
Masters (T3) – $870,000
Zurich Classic of New Orleans (T21) – $24,111
PGA Championship (T12) – $253,750
Memorial Race (T13) – $221,400
RBC Canadian (T48) – $22,568
Genesis Scottish Open (T10) – $157,800
Open Championship (1st) $2.5 million
Total: $US9,189,629 ($A13.5 million)