The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Cameron Smith rides a birdie surge to a comeback win at the British Open

Cameron Smith sealed his win with a birdie at No. 18. (Paul Childs/Reuters)

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Up ahead surged the quiet man. The quiet man would mar this merriment. From a position one twosome away, thus visible at times to the throngs following Rory McIlroy loudly and even tipsily, the quiet man would win the 150th British Open and give the budding bedlam a great big sigh.

The fans chanting and singing McIlroy’s name as he led the board around Nos. 9 and 10 Sunday, the ones charging through the ropes to the fairways behind McIlroy in premature anarchy on Nos. 11 and 12, began to notice the bummer on phones and electronic leader boards. Cameron Smith, the quiet Australian with a loud mullet and a No. 6 world ranking and top-three showings in two of the past three Masters, birdied No. 10.