Cameron Smith takes two-shot lead over Dustin Johnson in LIV Golf Chicago event


Cameron Smith made a pair of seven-foot birdie putts to overhaul Dustin Johnson to take the lead in the LIV Golf event in Chicago; Victory on Sunday for Smith would be worth at least $4 million

Last Updated: 18/09/22 9:16am

LIV golfer Cameron Smith plays his tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the LIV Golf Invitational Series Chicago

World No 3 Cameron Smith holds a two-shot lead over Dustin Johnson going into the last day of the LIV Golf event in Chicago.

Smith made a pair of seven-foot birdie putts to finish off his round of four-under 68 and allow him to overtake Johnson going into the third and final day of the LIV Golf Invitational Series Chicago.

As easy as Johnson made it look in the opening round, Saturday at Rich Harvest Farms was such a struggle that he shot over par for the first time in the 14 rounds he has played in the Saudi-funded series.

Smith lines up a putt on the 13th hole

Smith lines up a putt on the 13th hole

Johnson was lucky the deficit to Smith was only two shots. He came up well short of the green on the par-four 17th and had to make an eight-foot par putt, while Smith took the lead for the first time with his seven-foot birdie putt.

On their final hole at the par-five 18th, Johnson’s approach took a hard hop over the green. After a free drop from the grandstand, he chipped weakly to eight feet and missed his birdie putt. Smith was on the other side of the green, lagged a 60-footer to seven feet and holed that for another birdie.

Smith was at 10-under 134.

They will be joined in the lead group Sunday by Peter Uihlein, the former US Amateur champion who had the low round of the breezy day with a 66. That left Uihlein only three shots behind going into the last day.

Laurie Canter (68) and Charl Schwartzel (69), who won the first LIV Golf Invitational outside London, were four shots behind. The group five back included Lee Westwood, Charles Howell III and Bryson DeChambeau.

Bryson DeChambeau believes that people should give LIV Golf a chance and says he couldn't be happier with his decision to join the tour

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Bryson DeChambeau believes that people should give LIV Golf a chance and says he couldn’t be happier with his decision to join the tour

Bryson DeChambeau believes that people should give LIV Golf a chance and says he couldn’t be happier with his decision to join the tour

Smith won the Open at St. Andrews and made $2.5 million. A victory Sunday would be worth at least $4 million.

“It was tricky out there today,” Smith said. “I got a couple of breaks and DJ didn’t quite make the putts he usually does.”

Phil Mickelson looked as though he might get a round under par until he made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch and shot 74 to fall 12 shots behind.

Phil Mickelson says that divisive talk is doing the sport of golf no good and hopes both PGA Tour and LIV Golf can come together for the benefit of the game

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Phil Mickelson says that divisive talk is doing the sport of golf no good and hopes both PGA Tour and LIV Golf can come together for the benefit of the game

Phil Mickelson says that divisive talk is doing the sport of golf no good and hopes both PGA Tour and LIV Golf can come together for the benefit of the game

Mickelson spoke Friday about the need for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to work together. The PGA Tour has suspended players for playing in the Saudi-backed series without getting a conflicting-event release.

In the team competition, Johnson’s four-man squad had a one-shot lead over Smith’s team.

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