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Smith overtakes Johnson for 2-shot lead at LIV Chicago

SUGAR GROVE, Ailing. (AP) — 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 remaining day of the LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago.

As simple 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 two photographs. He got here up nicely 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 remaining gap on the par-5 18th, Johnson’s method 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 aspect 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. Novice champion who had the low spherical of the breezy day with a 66. That left Uihlein solely three photographs behind going into the final day.

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

Smith gained the British Open at St. Andrews and made $2.5 million. A victory Sunday can be price no less than $4 million.

“It was tough on the market as we speak,” Smith stated. “I acquired a few breaks and DJ did not fairly make the putts he often does.”

Phil Mickelson appeared 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 photographs behind.

Mickelson spoke Friday concerning the want for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to work collectively. The PGA Tour has suspended gamers for taking part in 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 in opposition to the PGA Tour.

“The PGA Tour for the final 20 or 30 years have had all the most effective gamers on this planet. That may by no means be the case once more. LIV Golf is right here to remain, and this kind of divisive speak is doing no person good,” Mickelson stated. “The most effective answer is for us to come back 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,” stated Mickelson, a chief recruiter within the early levels for LIV Golf. “As quickly as that occurs and all of us begin working collectively, that’s going to be a extremely optimistic factor for everybody.”

Within the workforce competitors, Johnson’s four-man squad had a one-shot lead over Smith’s workforce, with Uihlein’s nice spherical serving to put his workforce — Brooks Koepka is captain — two photographs behind.

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