2022 British Open Results:
Australian Cameron Smith claimed his first major title after a stunning final round at St Andrews. Smith's eight-under 64 was the equal lowest round of the day and saw him leapfrog overnight leaders Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland to win the Open Championship's famous Claret Jug.
The 28-year-old from Queensland lit up the back nine with five straight birdies but it was crucial par save at the Road hole, the 17th, and a birdie at the final hole that proved the difference. His 20-under total gave him a one-shot margin over his final round playing partner, American Cameron Young, with Rory McIlroy a further shot back in third.
- 1 Cameron Smith -20
- 2 Cameron Young -19
- 3 Rory McIlroy -18
- T4 Tommy Fleetwood -14
- T4 Viktor Hovland -14
- T6 Brian Harman -13
- T6 Dustin Johnson -13
- T8 Bryson Dechambeau -12
- T8 Patrick Cantlay -12
- T8 Jordan Spieth -12
- 1 Cameron Smith -20
- T15 Lucas Herbert -10
- T15 Anthony Quayle -10
- T15 Adam Scott -10
- T21 Min Woo Lee -9
- T53 Jason Scrivener -4
- T53 Brad Kennedy -4
- MC Matt Griffin +2
- MC Marc Leishman +6
- MC Dimi Papadatos +7
- MC Jed Morgan +11
The final men’s major of the year is here and it’s a good one - a classic Open Championship at the home of golf.
This year’s Open Championship will be played at the Old Course at St Andrews, in Scotland, from July 14-17.
Here’s what’s happening:
THE DEFENDING CHAMPION
After botching the trophy lift when winning the 2020 US PGA Championship at Harding Park, Collin Morikawa was understandably a little cautious when cradling the famous Claret Jug soon after winning the Open Championship at Royal St Georges last year.
The 25-year-old world No.4’s iron play was simply unstoppable at Sandwich, his laser-like approach shots a highlight of the week.
But it was his putting that ultimately proved the difference.
A week prior to the Open at his Scottish Open warm up, Collin was almost yippy with the flatstick.
But whatever he did in the days leading up to the Open obviously worked because he holed out with incredible touch and feel for the greens at Royal St Georges.
His strong iron play will no doubt be a factor at St Andrews and if history repeats with his putter, Collin could well become the first back-to-back Open winner since Padraig Harrington 15 years ago.
St Andrews, on the east coast of Scotland, is known as the birthplace of golf and it receives special treatment in the Open course roster.
While most courses on the roster play host once every 10 to 12 years, the Open is played at the Old Course at St Andrews every five years.
The Old Course is where the game of golf was first played back in the 15 th century and it still remains a public links course.
The layout of the course has evolved much over the years but in 1870 the legendary four-time Open winner Old Tom Morris implemented a redesign, most of which still remains today.
Old Tom designed St Andrews to be played in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions, but anti-clockwise has become the prevailing route - and they’ll be sticking with it at this year’s Open Championship.
By the way, it only became known as the Old Course when the New Course was completed in 1895.
Tiger missed last month’s US Open at Brookline so he could play this year’s 150 th Open Championship at St Andrews, spending the down time rehabilitating his body.
He played at the two-round JP McManus Pro Am in Ireland as a lead up but rode in a cart to remain fresh for the Open.
By all accounts he still had a pronounced limp, a result of injuries sustained in his 2021 car wreck.
But St Andrews is a happy hunting ground for Tiger.
In 2000 he won by eight shots to complete his career slam aged just 24 and followed up again in 2005.
The Old Course at St Andrews demands strategic thinking and creativity and is a special place for Tiger.
But a win in 2022? That would be special.
St Andrews boasts many of golf’s most well-known landmarks and chief among them is the 700 year-old Swilcan Bridge.
It crosses over the Swilcan Burn on the 18 th hole and is a popular place for golfers to pose for a picture to memorialise their round at the famous St Andrews links.
And it’s also become a popular spot for pros too during an Open.
Keep an eye out for pros who linger a little longer than usual at Swilcan Bridge because it’s usually a sign that a) they are retiring or b) lapping up the moment because they don’t know when they’ll be back for another Open at St Andrews.
When Ireland’s Shane Lowry won the Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 he celebrated like few others could, would or should.
It was his first major win and Lowry was hellbent on enjoying his time with the Claret Jug.
The jug travelled with Lowry around the world, accompanying him to almost every tournament he played.
But with the Open cancelled in 2020, Lowry got to hold on to it an extra year, the longest any player had held the trophy for since the Second World War.
Lowry has been playing good golf, finishing third at the Masters - one of five top 10s this year – and was ninth at the Irish Open last week.
He’s building momentum and could be a big chance at St Andrews to earn another stint with the Claret Jug.
THE CLARET JUG
The famous trophy awarded to the Champion Golfer known as the Claret Jug didn’t materialise until 1872.
Before that time, the winner of the Open received a belt.
Yes, a belt – kind of like those ones that boxers win.
But after Young Tom Morris won the Open three consecutive times from 1868-1870, the rules dictated that he was eligible to keep the belt.
With no trophy to award, the 1871 Open was cancelled. But a year later the Claret Jug was minted and it was Young Tom Morris who become the first player to inscribe his name on to the trophy in 1872.
GARY PLAYER’S FAUX PAS
It used to be left up to the winner to add his name to the Claret Jug but Gary Player’s effort in 1959 forced Open organisers to take the job in-house.
Player returned the trophy with his name engraved almost double the size of every other name on the trophy.
It is still visible on the trophy to this day and while in hindsight Player was one of the best to ever play the game and enjoyed an amazing career, it appears he wanted to make a statement.
It’s a big bunch of Australians at St Andrews this year, an 11-strong assault that is led by world No.6 Cam Smith.
Smith hasn’t had great success at the Open Championship – a tie for 20 th in 2019 is his best result - but he still looks the pick of the group given his form in 2022.
He flew to Europe a week earlier than usual to finetune his links feel at the Scottish Open.
And if he is successful in making the necessary adjustments, his putting and short game should keep him in the hunt to claim his first major title at the most famous venue in golf.
Adam Scott, Matt Griffin, Lucas Herbert, Brad Kennedy, Min Woo Lee, Marc Leishman, Jed Morgan, Dimi Papadatos, Anthony Quayle and Jason Scrivener complete the Aussie line-up.
This year marks the 10 th anniversary of Scotty’s heartbreaking Open meltdown at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
Scott had the Open in his grasp late on Sunday in 2012 but bogeyed his final four holes to lose by a shot to Ernie Els.
But Scott’s class in defeat saw him gain much respect and he wouldn’t have to wait long for his first major title when he won the Masters the following year.
However, Scott revealed last month that 10 years later “it hurts more today than it did at the time".
Redemption at St Andrews would be a great way to numb the pain.
Every time Rory tees it up at a major these days expectations rise that he might finally add another major to the four he already owns.
Then after the first round on Thursday, those expectations are usually lowered quite significantly.
It’s been eight years since Rory won his last major - the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2014 - and bad starts seem to be costing him dearly in majors.
After defending his Canadian Open title in spectacular fashion this year, it’s remains a mystery why Rory hasn’t won more majors.
The last time St Andrews hosted the Open in 2015 Rory didn’t play, as injury denied him a chance to defend his 2014 title.
But he did finish third at the Old Course in 2010, the year Louis Oosthuizen won his only major.
A Rory victory this year at St Andrews would be both overdue and welcomed, but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Is there anyone in the world right now who would begrudge Willy Z a major at St Andrews?
The American ball-striking machine notched another runner-up finish in a major at the US Open after missing a putt on the final green to lose by a shot to Matt Fitzpatrick.
It was the third time he’d finished runner-up in a major and it was his sixth top 10 from just eight major starts.
He still hasn’t won a tournament on the PGA Tour but it seems like it’s only a matter of time.
Could this be Zalatoris’ chance to get the monkey off his back?
THE LIV GUYS
As the name suggests, the Open Championship is open to everyone to compete.
And while defectors to the LIV Golf Tour have been suspended from playing events on the PGA and DP World Tours, those eligible will be teeing it up at the Open.
The Open will be the first time since the Saudi-backed LIV tour started that players from across all tours will be playing together.
With LIV’s big names all engaged at the Open - Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson Dechambeau and Phil Mickelson, to name a few - it would be massive if one of them did manage win the Claret Jug.
Could that scenario be the catalyst for peace talks between the tours? Time will tell.