Cameron Smith ended his wait for a maiden Major Championship at the 2022 Open Championship, as he was successful in the event at St Andrews. In what was the 150th year anniversary of the world’s oldest major, it was the Australian who played the tournament with the lowest score.
Smith shot a total of 268, which left him on -20. It included two impressive rounds of 64, one of which came on the final day, allowing him to leapfrog Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland who led the field ahead of round four.
The 28-year-old has had an excellent year. He prevailed in the Players’ Championship at Sawgrass back in May. He also lifted the trophy at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the opening month of 2022.
Smith is now a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, making him one of the most successful Australians in the history of the sport. He has shot up to second place, with only world number one Scottie Scheffler ahead of him, in the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings) after being all the way down in 21st back in late October.
McIlroy Ready to Win More Majors
For a large part of the Open, it looked as though McIlroy was going to lift the Claret Jug for the second time in his career. He was second after the opening 18 holes with an impressive round of 66.
McIlroy has not won a major since he prevailed in the 2014 US PGA Championship. He finished one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson in that tournament at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, as reported by the BBC.
The four-time major winner has found his best golf again in 2022. He started the season with a victory on the PGA Tour in the CJ Cup. He finished his four rounds on -25, helped by his round of 62 on the Saturday.
A second RBC Canadian Open went McIlroy’s way back in June. He first lifted the trophy in 2019 and three years later he regained his crown in one of the highlights of the year in Canada.
When the season is over, McIlroy will be very proud of the way he has played in the major championships. He has finished inside the top 10 in all four events. His best performance came in the Masters where he was second behind Scheffler.
McIlroy still needs to win the Masters to complete the Career Grand Slam. Victory at Augusta will be his number one priority in 2023. As of the 28th of July, he is the +1100 joint-favorite in the golf betting with Betway to land the Green Jacket next year.
Cameron Young Showed Again That He Has a Big Future
An eagle on the final hole of the tournament secured Cameron Young the runner-up spot in the 2022 Open Championship. The American started and finished well, with rounds of 64 and 65 respectively.
Had it not been his round of 71 on Saturday, when many of his rivals made a charge up the leaderboard, he could have been celebrating his maiden major win. Although the near miss will disappoint the 25-year-old, it should give him a lot of confidence ahead of big tournaments in the future.
Young has been victorious twice on the Korn Ferry Tour, but he has yet to score on the PGA Tour. He finished in a tie for third place at the US PGA Championship earlier this year, so he has proven again that he enjoys playing in the biggest events on the golf calendar.
Dustin Johnson Still a Big Player
Former world number one Dustin Johnson is one of the players who signed up to play LIV Golf. As ESPN reported, he resigned from the PGA Tour, but at this moment in time, he is still able to play the four majors.
Johnson showed at St Andrews that he remains a big force in these events. He ended the weekend in a tie for sixth place, and he was in contention for the trophy for large parts of the four days.
The two-time major winner should probably have won more of the big four events during the peak stages of his career. It would be wrong to rule him out from adding to his tally in 2023, though, as he’s won all four World Golf Championship events, as well as other tournaments such as the FedEx Cup. It also shouldn’t be forgotten how dominant he was in the 2021 Ryder Cup as he didn’t drop a single point.
All four of the above players will be keen to end the year strongly on their respective tours. Although the majors are completed, there are lots of prestigious events still to be played.