Cameron Smith WITB
OPEN champion Cameron Smith closed with a three-under 69 for a three-shot victory in the LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago, his fourth victory of an outstanding year. He also won the Tournament of Champions, Players Championship and the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews before defecting to LIV Golf.
Smith was only briefly threatened in the third and final round as he claimed his first title since switching to the LIV series. One of the key moments was a 10-foot par putt on the 13th hole, and neither Dustin Johnson nor Peter Uihlein could do enough to catch him.
He won $4 million from the $20 million purse for individual play.
"I think I had to prove to myself and other people that I'm still a great player, I'm still out here to win golf tournaments," Smith said. "I didn't have my best stuff, but I stuck tough and made some putts."
Johnson (70) and Uihlein (69) each made birdie on the par-five 18th hole at Rich Harvest Farms and tied for second, each earning $1,812,500.
Johnson's birdie enabled his team to win for the fourth straight time, which was worth an additional $750,000 for Johnson, Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez. In the five events Johnson has played, he now has made just over $12.5 million.
Uihlein's team, captained by Brooks Koepka, finished second, which was worth $375,000 for each team member. With the runner-up finish as an individual and team, Uihlein picked up nearly $2.2 million on Sunday.
Smith's short game did most of the damage. He made enough birdies on the front nine to stay in front, and hit a flop shop to a foot on the par-five 11th for another birdie.
Uihlein made birdie on the 13th and looked as though he might be able to trim the deficit to one shot until Smith made his clutch par.
Smith left no doubt at the end, hitting his approach over the water to four feet on the 17th to take a three-shot lead to the par-five finish, and then holing an 18-foot birdie putt that gave his team a tie for third with Phil Mickelson's team.
Mickelson had his best round since joining Saudi-funded LIV Golf with a 66 and tied for eighth, his first top-10 finish in five events.
Johnson is the only player from the 48-man field to have finished in the top 10 at every LIV Golf event. He was coming off a play-off victory two weeks ago outside Boston.
Smith was No 2 in the world when the 29-year-old Australian signed up with LIV Golf after the PGA Tour season ended, the highest-ranked player to join.
Johnson remains one of the most significant players to sign up, a two-time major champion who was No 1 in the world longer than any player since Tiger Woods.
"He's probably the one who you look at it feeling he's going to be at the top of the leaderboard every week," Smith said. "I hope he thinks the same of me, and hopefully, we can keep it going."
Get to Know Cameron Smith
Smith was born in Brisbane on August 18, 1993. He has won six times on the PGA Tour, with three of those victories coming in 2022, three times on the DP World Tour and twice on the PGA Tour of Australiasia.
He turned professional in 2013 and first made his mark in America when he finished in a tie for 15th at the RBC Heritage, playing on a sponsor’s invite. In 2015 he earned his PGA Tour card but lost it after just one season but regained it for the 2017 season. In 2017 he teamed up with Jonas Blixt to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and finished the season inside the top 50 in the FedEx Cup standings. He ended the year by winning the Australian PGA Championship and successfully defended his title 12 months later.
He won the Sony Open in 2020 and finished runner-up at The Masters. In April 2021 he won the Zurich Classic for the second time, in partnership with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman.
He averages 300 yards from the tee and hits 59.8% of fairways. Smith hits 68.11% of greens in regulation and averages 4.76 birdies per round - nobody hits more. His win at Chicago means he has pocketed more than $15m in 2022. He averages just 28.07 putts per round.
What's In The Bag
Driver: Titleist TSR2 (10 degrees @ 10.75 degrees, D4)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X
3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees @ 15.75 degrees, D4)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X
Irons: Mizuno Pro Hi-Fli (3, 3), Titleist T100 Black (5-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X Custom Matte Black
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 Jet Black (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M), Titleist WedgeWorks Proto Jet Black (60-T)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X Custom Matte Black
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M Prototype
Grip: Scotty Cameron
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Super Tack
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)