British Open 2022: The clubs Cam Smith used to win at St. Andrews
It wasn’t the Duel in the Sun and it wasn’t Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. That said, Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith (Cam Young, too) put on one heckuva show at the 150th Open Championship with Smith prevailing at the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Starting the day four shots behind Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, Smith was still in arrears as he made the turn. No one realized the Aussie was about to go on a heater.
Smith birdied the 10th and 11th to get within one. Moments later McIlroy made a great two-putt from 126 feet to make birdie on No. 10 to stretch the lead to two over Smith. Smith, however, birdied 12 for his third in a row to get back to one then smacked a nice iron from 187 yards on No. 13 then rolled in a 18-foot birdie putt for his fourth birdie in a row to tie McIlroy.
The Aussie used his flat stick again to his advantage with an amazing two-putt up and over the front mound on the par-5 14th from 87 feet for his fifth birdie in a row to take the lead by one and kept that lead with a splendid 10-foot par putt on the 17th hole and one final birdie with a fantastic two-putt birdie from the Valley of Sin at the 18th to close out a final-round 64.
Smith drove the ball well all week with the Titleist TSR3 driver he recently put in play, but it was his irons and especially his putting that served him well on the Old Course's massive greens.
Smith had a pair of Mizuno utility irons to go along with his Titleist T-100 irons. Unlike the main production model, Smith has his irons in all black, including the heads and black KBS Tour 130x shafts. The grips are Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet Super Tack. In all, Smith hit 17 of 18 greens Sunday.
His putter is a Scotty Cameron by Titleist 009M (which stands for Masterful) tour prototype blade with a slant neck. The club went into the bag at this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii and is the same one Smith used to win the Players Championship.
Smith seemed prescient in his presser the night before the final round, seemingly knowing he would need to get hot with the putter to have a chance.
“I love making birdies. I love making putts,” he said. “That's what I need to go out there and do tomorrow. I need to stay aggressive. Maybe a slightly different game plan off a couple of tees and just try and make a ton of birdies.”
WHAT IT DOES: A great fairway-wood lineup finds a way to make the ball go farther, whether you’re a tour player or a grandfather. Titleist handles the distance part by cutting a channel in the front portion of the sole. This helps the face flex better (more distance) and results in a higher launch, especially for impacts lower on the face (where most fairway-wood strikes occur regardless of your skill level). For golfers who aren’t exactly tour level, Titleist offers three models, including the lightweight TSi1 version, which is almost 50 grams lighter than standard models and features a 23-degree option.
WHAT IT DOES: When talking about a club’s center of gravity, most think of it in terms of inside the head. A better wedge, according to Vokey’s thinking, requires moving that CG outside the head. Specifically, the new SM9 moves the CG forward of the face and higher than in past models. That combination controls excessive dynamic loft, yielding a lower, more consistent flight for optimal launch and spin.
Like five in a row to become Champion Golfer of the Year.
What Cameron Smith had in the bag at the 2022 Open Championship:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist TSR3 (Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 60x), 10 degrees
3-wood: Titleist TSi2, 15 degrees
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