The Open: Cameron Smith wins first major after incredible finish

Cameron Smith celebrates with The Claret Jug after winning the 150th Open at St. Andrews.

(CNN)A remarkable late surge from Cameron Smith saw the Australian win his first major in stunning fashion at the 150th Open Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland.

In his event debut, the 28-year-old drained five consecutive birdies as he tore through the back nine of the Old Course, carding an eight-under 64 to pip playing partner Cameron Young by a stroke at 20-under par.
After starting the day four shots ahead of Smith, Rory McIlroy finished two strokes behind in third after signing off a bogey-free 70.
    It meant heartbreak for the Northern Irishman who, looking to end an eight-year major drought, saw a second Claret Jug win slip through his fingers after a day of missed putting opportunities.
      Having shared the lead with Viktor Hovland at the summit after a pulsating Saturday duel, McIlroy looked on track to finally clinch his fifth major after pulling ahead at the fifth hole from the Norwegian, who carded a two-over 74 to finish fourth. England's Tommy Fleetwood joined the 24-year-old on 14-under after shooting an impressive 67.
        Yet while the 33-year-old subsequently birdied just once more, up ahead Smith -- having already doubled that tally by his fifth hole -- burst through the back nine with a run of five birdies before adding one more at the 18th.
        With Young draining a dramatic final eagle just moments earlier, the Australian's eighth and final birdie of the round spared him a playoff, his victory assured after McIlroy failed to make the speculative eagle chip needed to draw level.
          Smith plays his second shot on the second hole.

          Comeback kid

          Overcome with emotion and almost unable to get his words out during the trophy presentation on the 18th tee, Smith opened his press conference simply welcoming the ability to breathe again.
          "To win an Open Championship in itself is probably going to be a golfer's highlight in their career," Smith told reporters.
          "To do it around St Andrews is just unbelievable. This place is so cool. I love the golf course. I love the town."
          The triumph sees Smith become the first Australian to lift the Claret Jug in almost 30 years, after Greg Norman won at Royal St George's in 1993. Etching yet more history, his four-stroke overhaul matched the largest comeback win at St. Andrews, most recently achieved by John Daly in 1995.