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    Cam Smith’s rise, Rory’s fall and St. Andrews 

    Cam Smith hits his tee shot on Sunday on the sixteenth gap at St. Andrews.

    Getty Photographs

    Test in each week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the most popular matters within the sport, and be part of the dialog by tweeting us @golf_com. This week, we talk about Cam Smith’s win on the Open Championship, Rory McIlroy’s majors drought, St. Andrews and extra. 

    1. The Open Championship is full, and Cam Smith is your newest main championship winner. Beginning the day 4 photographs again of Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, Smith shot a shocking eight-under 64, aided in nice half by among the best clutch placing performances you’ll see. We’ll start our spherical desk with him. What will likely be your greatest takeaway from Smith going ahead?

    Cameron Smith is your 2022 Open Champion.

    How Rory McIlroy’s dream weekend dissolved into Cam Smith’s Open coronation
    By:

    Dylan Dethier

    Josh Berhow, managing editor (@Josh_Berhow): He does plenty of issues proper, however he does two issues very well: make birdies and putt. Some folks simply have that second gear to place up low scores when the situations enable, and he did. It was a formidable bounce again after he shot 73 on Saturday. His up-and-down on 17 deserves a ton of credit score. He wanted to avoid wasting par on the toughest gap in golf and went up and round a bunker together with his putter and pulled it off. 

    Sean Zak, senior editor (@sean_zak): How he blacked out and made each putt on Friday and each putt on Sunday and in some way shot 73 in between these rounds. It’s wild. His placing stroke is so, so, so, so good. 

    Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): Smith’s placing is unbelievable. Each putt he strikes appears to be like prefer it has an opportunity to go in — and in Rounds 2 and 4, they did! That potential to go unconscious on the greens is tremendous spectacular and retains him in tournaments even when he falters in different areas.

    Dylan Dethier, senior author (@dylan_dethier): At any course that doesn’t demand greatness with driver — and particularly people who DO demand greatness across the greens — Smith is That Man. He proves that unsustainable stretches of red-hot placing truly are sustainable, so long as you’ve gotten his placing stroke.

    James Colgan, assistant editor (@jamescolgan26): Man, I feel my greatest takeaway is that I’m a bit uninterested in the movement illness. Smith oscillates between oh my god good and good lord dangerous with a pace that makes my abdomen churn. When it’s good, although, the variety of gamers who can beat him wouldn’t fill the B-side of a vinyl.

    2. One may make the argument, in fact, that McIlroy didn’t do sufficient in his spherical of 70, which included 18 two-putts. The betting favourite coming into the week, McIlroy now stretches his variety of years with out a main to eight. In your opinion, what held McIlroy again on Sunday? And what does he must do to interrupt the drought?

    Rory McIlroy walks on sunday at the old course.

    Rory McIlroy dreamed of profitable this Open. Then got here heartbreak
    By:

    Josh Berhow

    Berhow: His putter held him again. The sport is there, the drive is there, the mindset is there, the preparation is there. He simply didn’t make the putts at the moment he made a lot of the week. He completed prime 10 in all 4 majors this 12 months, so he’s doing every thing he must. His time will come to win that fifth main, however what a heartbreaking ending when it appeared like that day was at the moment.

    Zak: Unhealthy luck? He hit each inexperienced in regulation. He two-putted each inexperienced. For those who get rid of Viktor Hovland, which Hovland did to himself, Rory began the day with a four-shot lead and received beat by a 64. There’s some dangerous luck to that.

    Melton: As many have famous, Rory’s putter didn’t cooperate on Sunday. Past that, although, he regarded a bit bit stunned when Smith rattled off 4 straight circles to cross him within the remaining spherical. As soon as that occurred, Rory wasn’t in a position to kick it into excessive gear to catch again up. He simply couldn’t push the proper buttons on Sunday.

    Dethier: I don’t assume he must do something otherwise to interrupt the drought besides play extra main championships in his present type. Sadly he does have to attend eight and a half months earlier than he will get to his subsequent one — hopefully he’s in the identical type when he does.

    Colgan: First, I feel he wants a hug. In any other case, although, I agree with Dylan. This week’s efficiency would have received him three majors this 12 months. It simply so occurred to come back on the one week it didn’t.

    3. The most important story forward of Sunday got here from a participant who didn’t make the weekend. Tiger Woods shot rounds of 78 and 75 and missed the minimize, although he was clear that he would play once more — and no, he didn’t wave goodbye atop the Swilcan Bridge. Heaps to think about right here. Woods struggled, however his surgically repaired proper leg regarded higher. He additionally wouldn’t decide to any occasion after this week, so after we see him subsequent is unclear. Our query is that this, and it’s direct: After what you noticed this week, and this 12 months, does he contend ever once more?

    Tiger Woods on the 18th at St. Andrews' Old Course.

    Tiger Woods’ emotional St. Andrews stroll was a reminder of the tip — and the start
    By:

    Dylan Dethier

    Berhow: I feel he’ll make extra cuts however don’t see him contending a lot. It’s at all times going to be a double-edged sword for him. He’ll play much less to maintain his physique wholesome, however much less reps will imply extra rust on the subject of event golf. He may have an opportunity to be aggressive on the Masters for a handful of extra years as a result of his course data is so superior there. As for Friday, that send-off was fairly surreal. Most likely probably the most memorable second I’ve seen in particular person on a golf course in my life.

    Zak: It will be silly to say he’ll by no means contend once more, so I received’t. He swears he’s getting stronger and issues are getting higher, however he additionally swears that we’ve received no thought what he’s placing his physique by. He positively cares lots and means an excessive amount of to battle this a lot. So I feel he’ll contend in a significant subsequent 12 months. Perhaps two!

    Melton: I’m not very bullish on Tiger’s possibilities to contend once more. His well being simply received’t enable it. I’d like to be confirmed flawed, although.

    Dethier: Essentially the most encouraging factor I noticed this week was how a lot better Woods appeared to be strolling early in his rounds on Thursday and Friday. Essentially the most discouraging was listening to Woods describe simply how brutal it’s to prep for a event spherical. That’s clearly not a mountain he needs to climb greater than a handful of occasions per 12 months. He regarded rusty greater than he regarded injured. I don’t know the place that nets out.

    Colgan: I can’t sit right here and inform you that Tiger Woods received’t ever contend on the Masters once more. However I feel we’ve reached the purpose in his profession when that improvement will likely be a shock, and never the expectation.

    4. Exterior of the gamers, the star, in fact, was the course, and St. Andrews was a lot mentioned. Going into the week, the dialog revolved round whether or not the House of Golf would maintain as much as the fashionable recreation, and throughout the week, the speak centered on the protection: fast fairways and hard pins, together with all the different traps of a hyperlinks course. Was St. Andrews a worthy host?

    hideki matsuyama hits bunker shot

    Outdated Course Confidential: Is St. Andrews too straightforward for modern-day execs?
    By:

    James Colgan

    Berhow: Sure! I don’t care if Cameron Smith received at 20 below. It’s a historic hyperlinks and placement, and everybody’s enjoying the identical course anyway. It’s distinctive in a means solely it may be. The wind is the primary protection, and you’ll’t at all times account for that beforehand. I can’t await the following one right here.

    Zak: It was! With out a lot for Scottish climate, the R&A was compelled into making the agency situations change into the story and tucking pins away from gamers. That’s effective! Xander Schauffele and Matthew Fitzpatrick known as that tricked up, however main championship golf hovers so intently to the tricked-up line that it’s stunning it doesn’t cross the road extra usually. The 2030 Open (doubtlessly) at St. Andrews will look completely different. Completely different climate, perhaps a rolled-back golf ball and driver. We’re all good.

    Melton: Completely. It produced an elite leaderboard and a compelling event, and recognized a worthy champion. Robust to beat that trio.

    Dethier: You an Outdated Course critic? I hear you! I’ll say {that a} course with 4 or 5 drivable par-4s is a bit unusual. The scene on Thursday afternoon — when situations led to six+ hour rounds — was lower than best. However this was my first journey to St. Andrews, and I’m a full-on convert. To cite Tony Finau: That is the one course that might get away with it. This city, this course, this setting? It’s all excellent. Add some wind to the combo and the scores would have been an entire lot completely different.

    Colgan: The profitable rating may have been 100-under and I wouldn’t have cared. That was probably the most enjoyable I’ve had watching golf because the ’19 Masters. Clearly, the golf course performed a task within the enjoyable. The critics can kick rocks.

    5. The story that has dominated golf didn’t disappear on the Open. From gamers to R&A boss Martin Slumbers, LIV Golf was talked about from Monday to Sunday. We’ll maintain it Open targeted and ask: In what capability will we see LIVers subsequent 12 months?

    Talor Gooch of the United States tees off on the 15th hole during Day Two of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 15, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland.

    ‘Everyone, it appears like, is towards us’: LIV pressure surfacing at Open Championship
    By:

    Alan Bastable

    Berhow: I don’t see a lot altering. Extra guys will depart, a few of them larger names than others, however the main championships will proceed on with a mixture of PGA Tour and LIV gamers. That mentioned, the following factor to observe for is that if LIV Golf is granted world rating factors. As a result of if not, a lot of these gamers received’t be showing in majors down the highway.

    Zak: Those who qualify by way of main exemptions will likely be again. The others would possibly all need to qualify in several methods. They could need to pile into Open Qualifying in the event that they don’t have sufficient OWGR factors. It may get bizarre. 

    Melton: I’m certain they’ll be again, however the reception will possible be equally frosty. 

    Dethier: We’re certain to see extra scenes like we had with Dustin Johnson this weekend, pitting LIV towards non-LIV gamers. That’s an inevitability so long as LIV retains accumulating top-ranked gamers. However Sunday felt just like the final day of college. Some getting older LIV stars appeared ready to be saying goodbye. There’s loads of uncertainty forward.

    Colgan: My prediction is that we’ll seeing them … in qualifiers to earn their means into the Open! Which is perhaps not the worst factor on the planet?

    6. The foremost championship season is over. What’s the story/subject/winner/loser you’ll bear in mind most?

    Rory McIlroy walks off 18th hole St. Andrews

    Rory McIlroy’s legion of St. Andrews followers left questioning what may have been
    By:

    Sean Zak

    Berhow: I do know it’s contemporary so it’s an apparent reply, however it’s McIlroy on the Open. We’ve waited eight years for his subsequent main title. This one goes to harm for a very long time.

    Zak: I watched Cam Smith hit his tee shot on 12 at Augusta Nationwide into Rae’s Creek whereas sitting throughout from his agent. It modified every thing for his or her subsequent 24 hours. Solidified their already-booked flights. It felt like an enormous misplaced alternative. After which I noticed Cam Smith pull this off at the moment to sum up main season. What a enjoyable season it was. 

    Melton: I’ll give some like to Mito Pereira. His meltdown on the PGA supplied some terrific theater, even when it was powerful to observe. Right here’s to hoping he will get a couple of extra possibilities to interrupt by.

    Dethier: Because you’re all targeted on the heartbreaking losers, I’ll take us again to Justin Thomas’ ridiculous back-nine cost at Southern Hills to come back from completely nowhere to win the PGA Championship. 

    Colgan: It actually felt just like the Masters was Scottie Scheffler’s pronouncement. It’s been some time since we’ve had a participant come of age like that. His subsequent ascension to World No. 1 — and continually nagging menace at majors — has solely confirmed as a lot.

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