SMITH WINS BY 3 STROKES, FOUR-PEATS IN CHICAGO FINAL ROUND
Cameron Smith joined LIV Golf after winning three times in 2022, including the Open Championship. Despite his job choice, he felt doubts.
Smith termed his Boston debut “the greatest pressure I’ve had all year in an event.” I needed to show to myself and others that switching tours didn’t make me a poorer player. Still trying to win.”
The 29-year-old Australian won the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago by three shots over Peter Uihlein and Dustin Johnson.
Smith fired a 3-under 69 in the final round to finish at 13 under, while Uihlein shot 69 to level Johnson for second in points.
Johnson’s 4 Aces GC team won for the fourth straight time, sweeping the U.S. regular-season events before the Invitational Series goes to Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Patrick Reed’s 68 and Pat Perez’ 69 lead on Sunday, with Johnson’s 70.
Even though Johnson hardly challenged Smith on the back nine, the 4 Aces captain birdied the par-5 18th to claim the $3 million first-place team award. Uihlein’s Smash GC, led by Brooks Koepka, won $1.5 million for second place.
Johnson: “We were one shot ahead.” I needed to tie Pete on the final hole to win alongside Pete and Cam. Wonderful day. Proud of them. It was great to win four straight.
Smith’s 18th-hole birdie affected the team rankings, even though he had already won individually. Punch GC’s skipper tied Phil Mickelson’s Hy Flyers GC for third with a birdie.
Smith told his caddy, Sam, they must win for the boys. “It was good to get it done because it means a lot for those lads and the end-of-year team rankings.”
Smith finished one stroke behind Johnson in the three-man playoff in Boston. He rebounded from early bogeys with three birdies in a five-hole span. Johnson’s birdie at the par-5 7th gave him a share of the lead. Smith topped Johnson’s birdie putt to regain the lead, then added another at the 8th to extend it.
Smith, who won $4 million, called the morning “frustrating.” “My warmup sucked.” I wasn’t hitting the ball as well as I had before. I stayed put.”
Uihlein’s back nine had four birdies and two bogeys, but he stayed close behind Smith. Uihlein has two top five LIV Golf finishes this season. “He’s world’s finest for a reason. I’m pleased with my performance.”
Uihlein and Koepka helped Smash GC pressure 4 Aces. Chase Koepka shot a 5-under 67 to lead his team and finish ninth overall. Brooks: “Chase led us all day.”
Mickelson shot the day’s low round, a 6-under 66, to lead his team. Cameron Tringale’s late birdie put Hy Flyers third.
Mickelson: “It was a significant day for our squad as we move into the last three tournaments.” “It was important for me to have a good round since I haven’t played well so far, but I feel like that’s changing. I needed a click.”
The 4 Aces have won four straight, but Johnson says it’s too early to talk dynasty.
He responded, “It doesn’t matter how many we receive.” “We need numerous years in a row to be a dynasty.”
81 free mullets, $110K for charity with Smith
The Mullets for Charity pop-up barbershop at LIV Golf Invitational Chicago was inspired by Cameron Smith.
LIV to Give, LIV Golf’s charity giving program, donated $1,000 for each volunteer mullet.
Greg Norman’s mullet resulted in a $30,000 contribution from LIV Golf. This raised $110,000 for charity.
Smith started cutting Norman’s hair after Saturday’s second round before the pros finished.
Smith: “Nerves.” “I felt worried cutting Greg’s hair. I wanted to do well. I know he doesn’t have much left, so I wouldn’t have crammed it.
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