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The Open Championship: Jason Day shows he is back on track

Brian Harman produced a brilliant performance to stun the world’s top players and win the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

The American finished on -13 to win by five shots, holding off a number of big stars to lift the Claret Jug in what were wet and windy conditions at Hoylake.

After Cameron Smith was named Champion Golfer of the Year in 2022, there was another Australian bid for glory with Jason Day recapturing some of his best form when finishing in a tie for second.

What2024 US Masters
WhereAugust National, Georgia
WhenThursday, 11th April to Sunday, 14th April 2024
How to watchKayo Sports and Nine Network
OddsJon Rahm 8.50, Rory McIlroy 9.00, Scottie Scheffler 10.00

Day back challenging the best

It’s eight years since Day won his only Major title when collecting the PGA Championship back in 2015.

The former world number one has enjoyed a return to the winner’s circle in 2023, with May’s AT&T Byron Nelson his first PGA Tour title in five years.

Day’s T2 finish at Hoylake was his eighth top-10 finish of the season and proves he can still challenge for the big prizes, having missed the cut at the two previous Majors.

A 69 in awful conditions on the final day would have been enough for a play-off had it not been for Harman’s brilliant performance.

But Day will take plenty of positives from his display and the man from Queensland is available at 36.00 to win next year’s Masters.

Smith makes solid defence

After his success at St Andrews 12 months ago, Smith was tipped by some to go close again at Royal Liverpool.

Smith’s third round 68 was the only time he broke 70 across the four days, but his +1 score was good enough for the 29-year-old to finish in a tie for 33rd.

The LIV Golf London winner was joined on the +1 mark by fellow countryman Adam Scott, whose best round of the week came on the final day.

Scott, 81.00 to win the 2024 Masters, is now 43, but remains inside the world’s top 40 and as a previous Augusta winner, he will hope to challenge again at next year’s first Major of the year.

Titles ahead for Min Woo Lee

It’s been a stellar season to date for Min Woo Lee, even though he is still seeking his first title on the PGA Tour.

Having missed the cut at the Masters, the 24-year-old finished T18 at the PGA Championship before finishing in the top-five at the US Open.

After a T21 spot at last year’s Open, the man from Perth was an outside tip for several pundits and scores of 71 and 68 over the first two days at Hoylake put him in contention.

A third-round 72 was followed by a 75 on Sunday, leaving him in a tie for 41st on +2. Min Woo looks to have what it takes to challenge for Majors in future and is 67.00 to win the Claret Jug at Royal Troon in 2024.

Six Aussies miss Liverpool cut

There were six Australians that missed the weekend at Hoylake, with Lucas Herbert likely to be the most frustrated of the group.

The man from Victoria, who has won on the DP World Tour this year, finished T15 at St Andrews and looked to be on his way to another bid for the Claret Jug after shooting 33 on the front nine on Thursday.

But Herbert eventually carded a 71 and followed that up with a second-round 76, missing the cut with a +5 score.

A first round 78 put pay to Travis Smyth’s hopes of making the weekend in his first Major championship, while rounds of 74 and 77 saw Haydn Barron miss the cut.

PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit winner David Micheluzzi didn’t make the most of the serene conditions on the first two days with rounds of 77 and 75.

Connor McKinney was one shot worse off than Micheluzzi, while highly-rated amateur Harrison Crowe also missed the weekend courtesy of a second round 80.

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