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Cameron Smith wins at St Andrews, LIV Golf, Australians at majors, Adam Scott, analysis

Months of anger and disagreements tore men’s golf apart at the seams, but for just four days, everything came to a screeching halt at the home of golf, St. Andrews, for the 150th Open Championship.

After all, as the show’s tagline says, it all comes down to this.

That ‘it’ proved to be a 28-year-old who lifted the Claret Jug in Queensland, at the end of one of golf’s most important weeks, feels he is committing himself to a crowd that has more pain than glory in the history of the modern men’s major.

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‘Is that what you’re asking?’ Smith’s response to Bombshell’s LIV claim sends shivers down his spine.

The scorecard no doubt read as prophetic for Rory McIlroy, who was on the verge of ending an unbelievable eight-year drought.

The Massilroy faithful have been fired up countless times before, but even the skeptics will recognize this time is different after the Northern Irishman stepped out of the tent for a miraculous Eagle on Saturday.

Amid the growing threat of LIV golf, McIlroy – a staunch critic of the Saudi back-breaker – had his sights set on winning one of the biggest tournaments in generations.

The results were trending in the right direction and after opening rounds of 66, 68 and 66, Tiger Woods was on his way to becoming the game’s favorite after winning the 2019 Masters.

As it turns out, the prophecy was all Cameron Smith’s – his steady hands and sense of coincidence lost on his red-hot delivery.

Each behind Cam Smith’s nine | 09:26

The result isn’t popular with world golf, but beyond these shores and inside LIV Golf headquarters, there’s shared frustration.

One look at social media at the gods of golf and what could have been for McIlroy – rather than gratitude for Smith – leaves you seething with anger.

While the frustration is understandable, there is a big fallout from reading the episode from some.

One of the greatest performances of all time in the final round of a major championship was right under their noses.

Smith overcame a four-shot deficit to win by one stroke, posting no bogeys and eight birdies, including five in a row at the turn.

He shot a six-under-par 30, posting a 20-under par for the tournament — which he set in 2000 — by one stroke.

‘This is for Oz.’

Smith’s championship-winning round may have had a clinical edge, but for those who crave romanticism, there’s plenty on offer here, even without a victorious McIlroy.

The main victory belongs to Smith – let’s be clear about that – but Australia also shares in the glory, having been scrappy in the men’s majors for decades.

Smith understood that pain, and among his first comments on the 18th green, he said, “This is for Oz.”

How many times have you heard a major winner give his victory to his country?

Smith in 2010 He is the first Australian to win a men’s major since Jason Day in 2015 (PGA Championship) and the third this century after Adam Scott (Masters, 2013) and Geoff Ogilvy (US Open, 2006).

In the year No Australian has lifted the Claret Jug since Greg Norman in 1993.

After the victory 29 years ago, there was much more missed than won by the Australians.

‘How much beer is good for this thing’ | 04:18

Norman’s are very popular, especially in

It is often forgotten that He was just one shot into the final round of the 1999 Masters, won by Jose Maria Olazabal, and held a two-point 54-hole lead in the 2008 Open Championship over Padraig Harrington.

As Australia’s most successful major in history, Scott suffered two heartbreaks and the national association with The Open continued to grow stronger in the years that followed.

In the year In 2012, he had a four-shot lead with four holes to play and an incredible four-shot lead to draw at the Claret Jug for Ernie Els.

In the year Sandwiching his historic Masters win in 2013 was another close finish at The Open, where he finished four behind eventual champion Phil Mickelson before firing four straight bogeys on the back nine to take the lead in the final round.

Date He won the Swimmaker’s Cup in 2015, but not before missing two heartbreaking chances earlier that year. Day held the joint 54-hole lead at the U.S. Open but faded on the final day, plagued by vertigo, and missed the playoffs at St. Andrews a month later by one shot.

That playoff featured Australia’s Marc Leishman, whose ball sunk into a fairway divot on the first hole.

Even Smith suffered his own major heartbreak, coming close at the Masters until he washed his ball in Race Creek on the 12th while chasing Scotty Scheffler.

Overall, Australians have won four of the 87 men’s majors this century, a combined 4.6%.

That’s not a figure to scoff at, but go back to 2015 and Australians would have been shocked to learn that 21-year-old Smith was set to become the country’s next men’s major champion – seven years later.

Scott’s Masters win

Which brings us to this; The baton has well and truly been passed to Smith on his feet – but aren’t all first-time major winners?

Naturally, there will be a thirst for more major wins, as there was with Scott and Day. But you only need to look at their stories to see why predicting multiple major victories is a dangerous game.

Golf is too flexible to count on ever winning any professional tournament again, let alone another major.

Instead, it is important to think only in this moment. Sit, meditate, savor.

Smith will be 78 the next time the main event takes place at St Andrews’ holy and ancient fairways.

Needless to say, partaking in these glorious moments – in a setting that transcends the sport – doesn’t come around every day.

If no victory feels good or eternal, why thirst for more?

Australia's Cameron Smith kisses the Claret Jug.
Australia’s Cameron Smith kisses the Claret Jug.Source: AFP

‘fairy tale’

On the other hand, it might not be unreasonable to expect more majors from Smith, such was the tiger-like ruthlessness and composure of his final day performance.

Smith has elevated himself from a good player who could occasionally be in the mix to greatness.

His overall short game is at a level where this game is rarely seen, and his pitching alone stands out as otherworldly.

Former Masters winner Trevor Immelman said Smith’s performances at St Andrews were “some of the best I’ve ever seen at this pressure”.

According to Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, Smith had “ice water in his veins” during a “constant display of clutch putting.”

“What he did was almost impossible to predict,” he added. To see someone go out there and put it… that’s legendary.

Scott said after the match that Smith would continue to improve and even drew comparisons to Woods for his countryman.

“He’s proven what we’ve all talked about at the Players (Championship) and this whole year he’s been working for the big stage. He’s definitely the one,” Scott said. Golf Channel. “When he puts his mind to these big events, he wins and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win a lot of big events in his life.”

“His short game, if we didn’t realize it before this year, is one of the best games on tour, and that’s important,” he added.

I think he’s really figured out his game and he’s himself and he knows what he’s doing and what he’s doing right… he’s just doing and saying all the right things and he’s having a career year.

Scott at The Open | Lai responded to Smith’s victory at 02:51

“I’m excited about it because some people have it in it – what he did here in the last two holes, the back nine 30 on the old course, that’s amazing.

“I’ve seen a Tiger do something like that. He shot 30 to win the opening round today, it’s really amazing.”

Smith’s rise feels steady, but it’s worth noting that he only won one tournament on the PGA Tour before this year.

He now has three this year alone, one major and the other an unofficial fifth Players Championship.

Longtime caddy Sam Pinfold says his partner has experienced year-on-year growth, but is now experiencing a “quantum leap” to become among the best in the world.

Pinfold said Smith’s faith played a big role in making the reforms.

“He’s worked really hard and has a lot of confidence,” Pinfall said.

“At one point (Saturday), I think we were three or four (shots) back, ‘Don’t worry, we should have given them a head start anyway’, just laughing.

“He gets this little tooth between his teeth, gets up and chases people. He just doesn’t miss a shot, grows an extra leg and becomes more confident.

Smith says he doesn’t owe his bulk to anyone who changes his swing, routine or otherwise.

Instead, it’s thanks to spending a little more time on the range and the added motivation of regularly being in contention for wins.

“I think some people probably called me lazy a year ago,” Smith said. “Having an extra half hour at the back of the range with those drivers, I think my driver has improved a lot and the iron game has allowed him to do what it was meant to do.

“I don’t think I’ve changed much in my mind. I think sometimes you get away from what you’re doing and just go back to what you know and what you know.

“I’ve definitely been down that road a few times in my career but I think it’s really just confidence. The players have been really big confidence boosters.

I know it won’t be too long before I get one of these (mains). I knock on the door quite often now so it’s good to be done.”

“My game is very good,” he added. At the end of last year I had a lot of chances and I think I didn’t get off the line and that made me more excited at the start of the year to really try to get on and win the line.

“To have it happen three times this year is unreal, I didn’t expect it, I would have been happy with one.”

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