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How many beers can you fit in a claret jug? The boys from Wantima are about to find out


Only half joking, Cameron Smith said he planned on drinking the Claret Jug 20 times over after capturing golf’s oldest and most cherished trophy with an extraordinary finish at St Andrews.

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“I’m definitely going to see how many beers fit in this thing,” an ecstatic Smith said after reeling in Rory McIlroy, then holding off Cameron Young in a rousing finale on Sunday.

With five consecutive birdies to open the back nine and then another to seal victory at the last, Smith won by a shot from Young with a record final-round 64.

His 20-under four-round total was also the 72-hole Open scoring record, leaving the Smith to ponder how he’d celebrate.

“I’ll probably have about 20 Claret Jugs,” he said, guestimating the spoils would fit “two cans of beer”.

“To be honest, I’m really tired. It’s been a long week, so I’d be surprised if I make it past 10 or 11 tonight.”

Smith is only the fifth Australian to have his name etched onto the trophy, joining Greg Norman (1986 and 1993), Ian Baker Finch (1991), Kel Nagle (1960) and five-times champion Peter Thomson (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1965).

Smith, Norman and Baker-Finch are all members of Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Golf Club, although Smith still identifies as a member of the tiny Wantima Country Club on Brisbane’s northern outskirts.

As fate would have it, Smith’s victory at the 150th Open – the most celebrated tournament in the sport’s rich history – followed Nagle’s at the 100-year anniversary Open in 1960.

“That’s pretty cool. I didn’t know that,” the 28-year-old Smith said.

“To win an Open Championship in itself is probably going to be a golfer’s highlight in their career. To do it around St Andrews, I think is just unbelievable.

“This place is so cool. I love the golf course. I love the town. Yeah, hopefully we can keep that trend going with the every 50 years. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”

Smith’s only lament was not having his golf-loving, scratch-playing father Des in town to celebrate with him.

“My dad was actually meant to come over, and he pulled out in the last minute, basically,” Smith said of Des, who introduced Smith to golf at the Wantima Club in Brisbane as a toddler.

“I really wish he was here too. It would have been such a cool week, even without this (trophy), to be at the home of golf.

“Dad loves his golf as well. It would have been awesome.

“Actually, I don’t have any family here.”

“I haven’t looked at my phone yet. When you win golf tournaments, you have friends that you didn’t even know were friends. So I’m sure it’s going to be busy.”

Smith’s memorable triumph comes a decade after great mate and fellow Queenslander Adam Scott suffered the heartbreak of blowing a four-shot lead with four holes to play to give the Claret Jug to Ernie Els at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Scott suffered more disappointment on Sunday when, after surging into a share of fifth and to within five strokes of the lead, he made double bogey on the par-four 12th en route to a closing one-under 71.

The former world No.1 never recovered and had to settle for another admirable tie for 15th at 10 under par in his 22nd consecutive Open.

Fellow Australians Lucas Herbert and Anthony Quayle, on his impressive debut, also shared 15th with Scott after signing off with stylish rounds of 67.

Min Woo Lee was a further stroke back in joint-21st following a six-birdie 68 finish.

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