Cameron Smith’s final round of 68 at the LIV Bedminster Invitational capped off an excellent performance in New Jersey as the Australian eased to his third LIV tour victory, finishing with a score of twelve-under par.
Smith dominated the field over the course of the three-day event with rounds of 66, 67 and 68 to finish with a buffer of seven shots from his nearest rival, Anirban Lahiri, in second and he was delighted with the manner of his win: “I won a couple of weeks ago in London, and I wasn’t happy with the way that I won,” Smith said. “… I didn’t want the same thing to happen today.”
The Aussie also overtakes Tyler Gooch in the overall standings on the LIV tour for 2023 with a points tally of 170, sending him ahead of the American on 149.
After a shaky start on the final day of the event in the Garden State, being two over through five for the round, Smith began to shift into gear with birdies in the 6th, 8th and 9th holes.
Starting the back nine ten-under par, it seemed like a formality that Smith would add a win at the Bedminster Invitational to his triumphs at LIV Golf’s invitationals in Chicago and London – and this was strengthened when he birdied the 10th.
A birdie on the 15th was the icing on the cake for the 2022 Open Champion as he recorded a bogey-free back nine to claim his 16th professional win across the LIV, PGA and European tours.
Smith’s individual winning margin is the largest in LIV Golf history, besting the six-stroke victory by Bryson DeChambeau last week at Greenbrier. It also moved Smith into first place in the Individual Champion points standings. With two regular-season events left, Smith now has a 21-point lead over three-time winner Talor Gooch as he seeks the season-long title.
“It’s something that I’ve worked for, something that was a goal of mine at the start of the year was to be up there with at least a chance for the last event,” Smith said, who won for the third time in 15 regular-season LIV starts dating back to last season.
Runner-up, Anirban Lahiri, followed up his exceptional second round of 64 with a solid showing of one under par, finishing the day with three birdies and two bogeys.
Abraham Ancer, Patrick Reed and Dean Burmester all finished one shot back from Lahiri on four under par, with ten of the field of forty-eight players finishing below par.
Ripper GC, the team Cameron Smith captains, also romped to victory at the Trump-owned course with a score of -20 over the three rounds – eleven shots clear of Crushers GC and Stinger GC in second and third.
Although Smith did carry Ripper GC over the course of the three days with all of his rounds counting towards his teams tally, Jediah Morgan’s round of five-under-par was the standout contribution on the final day of play as the Australian recorded an eagle on the 8th as well as four birdies on the back nine.
Stinger GC were consistently near the top of the team standings all week with the South African outfit providing even-keeled rounds of between -3 and +1 all weekend long.
A mammoth effort by Crushers GC’s Lahiri helped drag his team back into contention on Sunday, and the final-round play of Lahiri (-1), Charles Howell III (E) and Crushers captain, Bryson DeChambeau (-3), allowed the team to finish in the podium places, placing the side fourth in the overall team standings.
The LIV tour continues on September 22nd with the LIV Golf Invitational in Chicago – where Smith will no doubt be looking to retain his title as the field of LIV golfers returns to Rich Harvest Farms in the event’s sophomore staging.