The reigning British Open champion, Australian Cameron Smith, won his first LIV Golf title on Sunday, fending off American Dustin Johnson and Peter
The reigning British Open champion, Australian Cameron Smith, won his first LIV Golf title on Sunday, fending off American Dustin Johnson and Peter Uihlein down the stretch to win the Chicago Invitational.
The 29-year-old finished with a 3-under 69 for a total of 13-under 203 shots in the 54-hole event at Rich Harvest Farms.
World No. 3 Smith finished with back-to-back birdies, the last from 20 feet, to defeat two-time Grand Slam winner Johnson and Uihlein by three shots.
Nine weeks after capturing the Claret Jug at St. Andrews, Smith said he needed a win to send a message to critics of his decision to jump from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed series.
“I think I had to prove to myself and to other people that I’m a great player, that I’m here to win golf tournaments,” Smith said.
LIV Golf’s record prize money has helped attract the defection of several big names from the PGA, prompting the PGA to issue indefinite bans to former members and spark an antitrust lawsuit in the United States set to take place in 2024.
Smith’s departure was a huge blow to the US PGA Tour, where he won the Tournament of Champions in January, the Players Championship in March and his first major title in July at St. Andrews.
Smith added a $4 million LIV Golf jackpot from a $25 million purse, a 2022 haul that includes $1.47 million for the winner of the Tournament of Champions, $3.6 million for the Players and 2.5 million in the Open.