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The 150th Open

Cameron Young


Runner-up proud after memorable Open debut

Cameron Young

This was not the first time Cameron Young has entered the final hour in contention for a major and on the evidence of this week it will certainly not be the last.

The 25-year-old backed up his shared third at the PGA Championship with a runners-up finish on his Open bow, shooting a final-round 65 that on another day may well have seen him follow in the footsteps of compatriot Collin Morikawa and lift the Claret Jug on debut.

Instead, he watched as his namesake and playing partner Cameron Smith blitzed the back nine to shoot the lowest final round by a St Andrews Champion – an honour that Young’s score would have been good enough to hold had the Australian not been in such inspired form.

Young was in phlegmatic mood when reflecting on missing out and believes practice will make perfect when it comes to dealing with battling for honours in the closing stages of majors.

Cameron Young

“I handled it pretty well,” he said. “At this point, not as much as some of those other guys, but I've at least been around the lead a lot this year.

“In the PGA TOUR, in a major, so it's not the first time I've been in that situation.

“And the more I put myself there, as I think I said at the PGA, one of these times I'll shoot five-under on the back and that will be enough.

“Today I did, and it wasn't. I guess one of these times I'll shoot six-under on the back on Sunday and that will be enough.

“It probably hurts a little worse to come up one shot short. If you lose by eight you don't really care. But I played well today. I would have signed up for 65 this morning.”

Young began The 150th Open with an eight-under-par 64 to take the overnight lead on day one and kept himself in contention throughout as challengers came and went.

His final round began slowly, with a bogey at the 1st, but he hit back with four birdies in five holes before a costly wayward drive on the 9th.

A drop out from a gorse bush led to another bogey but Young’s resilience shone through once more as he and Smith caught fire after the turn, the American doing his best to keep up as his partner rattled in birdie after birdie.

Cameron Young

Young trailed by two going down the 18th and though he kept Smith on his toes with a superb eagle, he did not expect it to be enough against an opponent operating in a league of his own.

“The way Cameron Smith chips and putts, I didn't really think he would make a four,” he said.

“I was just trying to get it there and give myself some kind of look, because obviously you never know.

“But just based on how he was playing and how that hole sets up, there was a very, very good chance that two wasn't going to be enough.

“I tried as much as I could. Watching him make a million birdies in a row is in one sense good because it pushes you, and in another sense it's hard to watch because you see him making putts, knowing that he's kind of beating you.

“I had a front-row seat to I'm sure one of the better rounds that's been played this year but I stuck to my plan and the process of what had gotten me there really well.”

Reflecting on the dropped shots that ultimately proved costly, Young added: “On 9, I tried a little hard to get it to the green knowing that right is totally fine.

“I was just trying to hit one really hard and turning right to left and I just overdid it. Probably just maybe not the best decision I made and not the best shot I hit today. Just one of those times.

“On 1, the second putt just kind of didn't do what I thought. I just thought it went a little right and it went a little left.

“But overall I think I had a really good week and I hung in there really well today.”

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