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The 151st Open

Best Shots


A look back at some of the sweetest strokes from The 151st Open

A moment to savour for Travis Smyth, who hit the first ace on Hoylake

Brian Harman gave us plenty to savour during his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool.

From the way he dominated for three rounds, to his near-flawless form on the greens, Harman deservedly won the Claret Jug by a six-stroke margin.

The 151st Open belonged to the Georgia native, but there were a host of magical moments at Hoylake – and here we look back on some of the best shots from a memorable week:

Sepp Straka, Day One

It may have only been from 15 yards, but this was a chip fraught with danger.

With a greenside bunker and an upslope between ball and pin, Sepp Straka had very little room to manoeuvre – but it mattered not.

The talented Austrian, who would finish The Open in a tie for second place, produced the week’s first Doosan Shot of the Day by pitching the ball near the top of the upslope, allowing it to trickle down the green and into the hole.

This birdie ensured Straka would finish his first round on one-under-par, giving him the impetus to complete his best finish in golf’s original Championship.

Travis Smyth, Day Two

Travis Smyth claimed a small piece of history on Friday morning.

Much had been made of Royal Liverpool’s new 17th hole in the build-up to The Open, and with 22 bogeys and 21 birdies on Thursday it proved a welcome, and challenging, addition to the Hoylake layout.

But it was Smyth who really put ‘Little Eye’ on the map.

With the pin playing 132 yards, the Australian plucked a 9-iron from his bag and unleashed the perfect tee shot.

Allowing for the wind to take hold, Smyth sent the ball slightly out to the right – but it came back in with aplomb, bouncing just once before sinking into the cup for the new 17th’s first hole-in-one, and the first, and only, ace of The 151st Open.

Brian Harman, Day Two

Harman’s charge to Champion Golfer honours began with four consecutive birdies early on Friday.

While this stretch played a big part in the American establishing what would ultimately be an unassailable five-shot lead, his chip-in to save par on 12 was arguably just as crucial.

It kept momentum on his side and ensured his card stayed blemish-free in what was a breakthrough second round.

Antoine Rozner, Day Three

Antoine Rozner’s place at The Open was only secured via Final Qualifying three weeks earlier.

Despite the nature of his late arrival, he was one of the stand-out performers on day one, shooting a four-under 67 to sit just one off the lead.

He was unable to maintain this form in the second round, but got things going again on Saturday, helped in no small part by this magnificent 29-yard eagle on 15.

Cameron Smith, Day Two

Champion Golfer of the Year for 2022, Cameron Smith has long been renowned for his prowess on the greens.

The rest of his game isn’t too bad either – as was evidenced by this immaculate approach shot into 18.

Sitting on four-over-par, Smith needed a birdie at the last to make the weekend. He went one better courtesy of one of the best iron shots of the Championship, pumping the ball from 232 yards to within one foot of the pin.

A Champion’s finish.

Scottie Scheffler, Final Round

It is a rarity not to see Scottie Scheffler’s name near the top of a leaderboard, such has been the world number one’s form over the last 18 months.

However, that was how events transpired at Royal Liverpool with Scheffler unable to find his ‘A’ game on a frustrating weekend.

He did, though, produce a few moments of brilliance – as you’d expect from the game’s most consistent performer – including a classy up-and-down from a bunker on 18 that extended his stay at Hoylake.

His stand-out stroke came at the 1st on the final day, a delicious 48-yard approach that pitched on the green, checked a few feet from the pin before sinking into the hole.

Rickie Fowler, Final Round

There are few more popular players on the circuit than Rickie Fowler, whose flair on and off the course always catches the eye.

A 2023 resurgence was capped off with victory in the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the beginning of July, leading to hopes of glory at Royal Liverpool.

Although a challenge never quite materialised, Fowler still gave his fans plenty to cheer, no more so than with a tee shot on the penultimate hole that landed within two feet of the pin.

Only Smyth produced a better shot on 17 all week.

Alex Fitzpatrick, Final Round

Like Rozner, Alex Fitzpatrick only punched his ticket to Hoylake via Final Qualifying – and it led to the best performance of his career.

He finished T17, but enjoyed a weekend to remember thanks to a red-hot putter, holing from 25, 26 and 14 feet on Saturday.

He saved the best for the final round, though, draining the longest putt of the week, from 72 feet.

Jason Day, Final Round

Like Fowler, Jason Day has been enjoying a renaissance of late.

The 2015 PGA champion was on the coat tails of the leaders all week and began to make a charge during the front nine on Sunday, finding three birdies in five holes, including this stunning chip-in from 33 yards, a shot which was met with rapturous applause from the drenched galleries.