By Matt Smith
A stellar year just got better for Australian superstar Cameron Smith as he added his first LIV Golf individual title — and a hefty pay cheque — to a long list of accolades for 2022.
The Open champion and PGA Player of the Year made the controversial move to LIV Golf following the PGA Tour season-ending FedEx Cup Playoffs in time for the tournament in Boston two weeks ago, where he finished fourth. This time around he pocketed the top prize of $4 million for finishing three strokes clear of the pack at Rich Harvest Farms.
The world No. 3 signed for a total of 13-under over the 54 holes just outside Chicago, three ahead of American pair —individual season-leader Dustin Johnson and Peter Uihlein.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia responded to criticism over his early withdrawal from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week with an impressive eight-under T4 alongside Chilean No. 1 Joaquin Niemann.
Garcia was slated on social media for withdrawing following the first round of the DP World Tour flagship Rolex event and then turning up at a college football match in Texas with Scottie Scheffler less than 24 hours later.
In only his second LIV Golf start, Smith already looks right at home amid the party atmosphere and pumping music of the LIV Golf tour, which is aiming to alter the face of golf, much to the chagrin of the PGA Tour.
“I think I had to prove to probably myself and some other people that I am still a great player, you know I am still out here to win golf tournaments,” said Smith after his victory.
The 29-year-old closed with back-to-back birdies to ensure he was out of reach, despite the efforts of Johnson, who had the consolation of leading his 4 Aces team (Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez) to their fourth team title in a row and a share of $3 million.
“I am proud of how I hung in there today. Didn’t really have my best stuff the first eight or nine holes but stuck it though and made a few good putts coming in. It was nice,” Smith added.
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