Cameron Smith pushes past Dustin Johnson, secures lead at LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago

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SUGAR GROVE, Sick. — Cameron Smith made a pair of 7-foot birdie putts to complete off his spherical of 4-under 68 and permit him to overhaul Dustin Johnson going into the third and closing day of the LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago.

As straightforward as Johnson made it look within the opening spherical, Saturday at Wealthy Harvest Farms was such a wrestle that he shot over par for the primary time within the 14 rounds he has performed within the Saudi-funded sequence.

Johnson was fortunate the deficit to Smith was solely 2 pictures. He got here up effectively wanting the inexperienced on the par-4 seventeenth and needed to make an 8-foot par putt, whereas Smith took the lead for the primary time along with his 7-foot birdie putt.

On their closing gap on the par-5 18th, Johnsons strategy took a tough jump over the inexperienced. After a free drop from the grandstand, he chipped weakly to eight toes and missed his birdie putt. Smith was on the opposite facet of the inexperienced, lagged a 60-footer to 7 toes and holed that for one more birdie.

Smith was at 10-under 134.

They are going to be joined within the lead group Sunday by Peter Uihlein, the previous U.S. Newbie champion who had the low spherical of the breezy day with a 66. That left Uihlein solely 3 pictures behind going into the final day.

Laurie Canter (68) and Charl Schwartzel (69), who gained the primary LIV Golf Invitational exterior London, had been 4 pictures behind. The group 5 again included Lee Westwood, Charles Howell III and Bryson DeChambeau.

Smith gained The Open at St. Andrews and made $2.5 million. A victory Sunday could be value no less than $4 million.

It was difficult on the market right this moment, Smith mentioned. I received a few breaks and DJ did not fairly make the putts he normally does.

Phil Mickelson seemed as if he may get a spherical below par till he made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch and shot 74 to fall 12 pictures behind.

Mickelson spoke Friday concerning the want for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to work collectively. The PGA Tour has suspended gamers for enjoying within the Saudi-backed sequence with out getting a conflicting-event launch.

Mickelson is amongst seven gamers — together with LIV Golf — who has filed an antitrust lawsuit towards the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour for the final 20 or 30 years have had all the perfect gamers on this planet. That may by no means be the case once more. LIV Golf is right here to remain, and the sort of divisive discuss is doing no one good, Mickelson mentioned. The most effective resolution is for us to return collectively.

I believe each are wanted for the sport of golf. Each are good for the sport of golf. The inclusion of LIV Golf within the ecosystem of the golf world is important, mentioned Mickelson, a chief recruiter within the early phases for LIV Golf. As quickly as that occurs and all of us begin working collectively, that is going to be a very optimistic factor for everybody.

Within the staff competitors, Johnsons four-man squad had a 1-shot lead over Smiths staff, with Uihleins nice spherical serving to put his staff — Brooks Koepka is captain — 2 pictures behind.

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