“Smith’s Tearful Farewell to Claret Jug at Open Championship”
Golf Sports UK US

“Smith’s Tearful Farewell to Claret Jug at Open Championship”


Cameron Smith, the reigning Open champion, experienced an emotional moment on Monday as he returned to Royal Liverpool for this year’s Open Championship. Handing back the prestigious Claret Jug to the R&A, Smith admitted to “holding back tears” during the bittersweet occasion. Following his victory at St Andrews last year, the Australian golfer now aims to join Ireland’s Padraig Harrington as the most recent back-to-back winner of the Open Championship, a feat achieved in 2006-2007.

Reflecting on the moment, Smith shared his sentiments with BBC Sport, saying, “I didn’t think I’d ever have to give it back. It was a sad moment that crept up on me a little bit. Once you have something as great as that, you don’t want to let go of it.” The memories of his remarkable performance at the Old Course, where he carded a bogey-free eight-under-par 64, securing victory by a single stroke over American Cameron Young and with Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finishing third, are still fresh in his mind.

Maintaining his laid-back demeanor, the 29-year-old Australian joked with his friends, saying, “It’ll only be a week, and we’ll be drinking out of [the Claret Jug] again. Hopefully, it’s another week like last year, and I’m back with the trophy.” Smith, who has been in England for a few weeks, enters The Open Championship in good form, having recently won the latest LIV Golf event at Centurion Golf Club.

While the potential merger between LIV Golf’s funders, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and the PGA Tour remains uncertain, Smith remains focused on his golf. Admitting that he is still in the dark like everyone else, he is determined to give his best effort each week and continue improving as a golfer. “I think I’m actually a better golfer now than I was last year,” he expressed confidently. As for the reception of LIV Golf in Australia, Smith highlighted its positive reception and emphasized the importance of the support he received from his home country. He recalled that when he played in the PGA and the Open in Australia at the end of last year, there was no public uproar about his switch to a different tour. The fans were simply delighted to see him playing golf, which meant a lot to him.

When asked if becoming a major champion had changed him in any way, Smith responded with a smile, “I think the person is the same. I think my old boy would give me a clip around the ears if I was any different.”

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