The Open: I hope McIlroy lifts the Claret Jug, says Silver Medal winner Celli

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Rory McIlroy not only has the backing of the majority of the huge crowd at St Andrews, but he is also Silver Medal winner Filippo Celli's pick to triumph at The Open.

McIlroy moved into a two-stroke lead through six holes on the final day at the 150th edition of golf's oldest major, with playing partner Viktor Hovland his nearest rival.

Already back in the clubhouse having carded a closing 71, Italian Celli is hoping when he receives his low amateur prize it will be McIlroy lifting the Claret Jug at the presentation.

"I'm feeling very happy and proud," said the 21-year-old, who finished on five under.

"Today my golf game was really good, like the last three days. And today I made a lot of stupid bogeys, I can say that, but that's okay because I'm very happy because my dream was to play here, and I won also the Silver Medal.

"I can't ask for a better thing to win the Silver Medal at the 150th Open at St Andrews.

"I hope that Rory McIlroy can win the Claret Jug because he's my favourite player. So going out for the presentation with Rory McIlroy, it will be a real dream. And I can't ask for better in this moment."

Celli revealed his dreamlike week had got off to a memorable start on Monday, when he played the back nine with his hero.

"It started on Monday. I was so lucky because I was playing the practise round with my coach and caddie, Alberto. We were on the 13th green, and the 13th green and the fifth green are the same green," he explained.

"Rory McIlroy was playing the practise round with Dustin Johnson. He's putting on the fifth green. I was alone by myself out there with Alberto putting on 13.

"And I was so happy when Rory, like he turned to the face to me and Alberto, and he asked me and Alberto, 'Hey, guys, you mind if I join you for the back nine?'

"I looked at Alberto and said 'Is he serious or not?' Rory, of course you can!

"I was so lucky and happy because it's a dream come true because I grew up watching the video of Rory and the wins of Rory, all the stuff he won. So it's amazing, unbelievable."

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