CHICAGO ROUND 2 RECAP: SMITH IS 2 SHOTS AHEAD, AND 4 ACES LEAD A CLOSE TEAM RACE
Cameron Smith has only played five rounds of LIV Golf, so he is still trying to figure out how to balance the individual and team parts.
On Sunday’s final round of the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago, the current Open Champion will get a crash course in the race for two trophies.
On the individual leaderboard, Smith has a two-shot lead over Boston winner Dustin Johnson. This is because he shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday at Rich Harvest Farms, where scoring was sometimes hard. His all-Australian Punch GC is only one shot behind Johnson’s 4 Aces GC, which is trying to win its fourth straight team championship.
Smith, who is 10 under after two rounds, said, “It’s a very unusual situation that I’m probably not used to yet.” “I tend to pay more attention to the team score than to my own score.”
Smith and Johnson, who are both 8 under, will be in the lead group again on Sunday. Peter Uihlein will join them. He had the best round on Saturday with a 6-under 66, which put him in third place by himself at 7 under.
“Of course, Cam is the current Open champion and plays amazing golf. DJ won last week,” Uihlein said. “They are both amazing players who are doing great. Will be fun.”
Even though there were a lot of people at Rich Harvest Farms, everyone was having a good time. However, the players had to deal with windy weather, which tested their patience. With an average score of 71.771, the field did worse than in the first round by more than a half stroke. Smith said, “It got pretty hard,” and his last two holes were both birdies.
Johnson has been the most consistent player this season. He shot a 1-over 73, which was his first score over par in 14 LIV Golf rounds. It was also the first time that one of his rounds didn’t count for 4 Aces. He started the day with a three-shot lead after his first round of 63, but now he’s chasing Smith after going 2 over and not making a birdie in his last 10 holes.
Johnson will be in the lead group for the fourth race in a row, which is good news. That will show him exactly what he needs to do to catch up to Smith and win for the second time in a row.
Smith said of Johnson, “He’s for sure someone you want to beat.” “He’s been one of the best players for the last ten to fifteen years, so he’s someone to compete with and try to beat.”
Uihlein will try to make the same kind of magic that he did at the first event in London. He was not only fourth in the individual standings, but he also led Crushers GC to second place in the team standings. He is now part of Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC, which is in third place, one shot behind Punch GC.
Not only is Uihlein happy to play for Koepka, who he has known for a long time, but he was also happy to see that Saturday’s scoring was hard. Uihlein said, “I want championship tests.” “These 25-under-par shootouts aren’t really what you want. We like to play on courses that are both good and hard.
Individually, England’s Laurie Canter (Cleeks GC) and South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel (Stinger GC), who won the first event in London, are tied for fourth with a score of 6 under. Bryson DeChambeau, Lee Westwood, and Charles Howell III, who are all on the Crushers GC team, are another stroke behind (Majesticks GC captain).
Smith will try to do well in both the individual and team races, but one thing he is used to doing is getting his energy from the LIV Golf crowds.
He said, “It’s really cool.” “Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten used to it, and I can’t wait to keep doing it. This place is crazy. I love how lively it is. I think the course has a heartbeat, as I said last week. Everyone is really interested, and everyone is paying close attention to what you do. Yes, it’s great.”
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