Australia’s Cameron Smith made a pair of seven-foot birdie putts to complete off his spherical of four-under 68, permitting him to overhaul Dustin Johnson going into the third and closing day of the LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago.
American Johnson shot over par for the primary time within the 14 rounds he has performed within the Saudi-funded collection, carding a 73 on Saturday at Wealthy Harvest Farms.
Johnson was fortunate the deficit to Smith was solely two pictures. He got here up nicely wanting the inexperienced on the par-4 17th and needed to make an eight-foot par putt, whereas Smith took the lead for the primary time together with his seven-foot birdie putt.
On their closing 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 seven toes and holed that for an additional birdie.
Smith received the British Open at St. Andrews and made $US2.5 million ($A3.5m) whereas a victory in Illinois can be value no less than $US4 million ($A6m).
“It was difficult on the market in the present day,” the 29-year-old Queenslander mentioned.
“I bought a few breaks and DJ did not fairly make the putts he normally does.”
Smith is 10 underneath and will probably be joined within the lead group on Sunday by Johnson and Peter Uihlein, the previous US Beginner champion who had the low spherical of the breezy day with a 66. That left Uihlein solely three pictures behind going into the final day.
England’s Laurie Canter (68) and South African Charl Schwartzel (69), who received 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.
Phil Mickelson, who spoke on Friday concerning the want for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to work collectively, made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch and shot 74 to fall 12 pictures behind.
Mickelson is amongst seven gamers — together with LIV Golf — to have filed an antitrust lawsuit towards the PGA Tour who’ve suspended gamers for taking part within the Saudi-backed collection.
“The PGA Tour for the final 20 or 30 years have had all the very best gamers on the earth. That may by no means be the case once more. LIV Golf is right here to remain, and this sort of divisive discuss is doing no person good,” Mickelson mentioned.
“The perfect resolution is for us to return collectively … Each are good for the sport of golf … As quickly as that occurs and all of us begin working collectively, that is going to be a very constructive factor for everybody.”
Within the workforce competitors, Johnson’s four-man squad had a one-shot lead over Smith’s workforce.