In one of the most brilliant final-round performances in major championship history, Cameron Smith shot an 8-under 64 on Sunday to catch Rory McIlroy and win the 150th Open Championship at the Old Course at St. Andrews. The win marks Smith’s first major victory in his career, and it pushed his on-course earnings in 2022 to nearly $10 million.
With the victory, Smith became just the second player in golf history to win The Players Championship and the Open Championship in the same year. The other player? None other than Jack Nicklaus.
Cameron Smith wins the 2022 Open Championship to join Jack Nicklaus in golf history
Wow. What a Sunday it was in the ancient and iconic town of St. Andrews, Scotland.
The Open seemed to be McIlroy’s to lose heading into the final round. He started his Sunday tied for the lead with Viktor Hovland at 16 under par, and no other player was within three shots. But Smith, who started the day at 12 under par, wasn’t going to go down without a fight.
The mulleted Australian birdied two of his first five holes to inch closer to the lead. After a string of pars to finish his front nine, Smith rattled off five straight birdies on holes 10-14 to surpass McIlroy and take the lead by himself. A few brilliant pars down the stretch and a tap-in birdie on 18 gave him an 8-under 64 to secure his first major.
With a final score of 20 under par, Smith tied the lowest 72-hole score in major championship history. But that wasn’t the only bit of history he made on Sunday.
With the win, Smith matched Nicklaus as the only other player in golf history to win The Players and The Open in the same season, per a tweet from Justin Ray of The Athletic. It’s been quite the year for the 28-year-old star, and his bank account has exploded because of it.
Smith has now earned nearly $10 million this season
Smith’s Open Championship triumph marked his third win of the 2022 season. He won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January with a record score of 34 under, and he won The Players two months later thanks to a final-round 66. Smith has also recorded seven top-10 finishes in 16 starts this year.
The Aussie took home $2.5 million for his Open Championship victory, which brings his on-course earnings in 2022 to $9.8 million. Only Scottie Scheffler (more than $13 million) has earned more this season.
This is only the beginning for Smith. Expect plenty more broken records and even more millions to come in the future.