Cameron Smith loved a great Open Championship warmup with a victory at LIV London Sunday, simply two weeks earlier than his title protection kicks off.
Smith, in his remaining occasion earlier than defending the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in lower than two weeks time, made a multitude of the ultimate gap on Sunday at Centurion Membership north of London, however nonetheless pocketed the large winner’s test of $4 million.
Smith emerged victorious at St Andrews final yr for his first main win, solely to leap ship to LIV Golf a month later.
And, whereas final yr’s British Open performed out over the background of jibes and digs amid the 2 warring camps of LIV Golf rebels and PGA Tour loyalists, Smith and his fellow defectors will likely be returning to the championship at Royal Liverpool beneath a truce after Jay Monahan’s shock U-turn.
And, the Australian will likely be heading to the north west of England with one other win beneath his belt.
Cam Smith loved a great Open Championship warmup with a victory at LIV London Sunday
The Australian celebrity poses together with his girlfriend Shanel Naoum (proper) with the trophy
Smith performed his remaining occasion earlier than defending the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in two weeks
Smith’s remaining spherical, a three-under par 68, took him to fifteen beneath par, one shot away from his nice Australian pal, Marc Leishman, who fired a 66, and American Patrick Reed (65).
For Smith, it was a primary triumph in any event because the Australian PGA final November at Royal Queensland.
‘It actually hasn’t been that lengthy, nevertheless it looks like eternally,’ mentioned the 29-year-old, of his eight-month win ‘drought’.
‘And particularly the best way I have been taking part in the final couple of months. I have been knocking on the door of profitable, and it is good to get one out of the best way, and hopefully, it opens the floodgates just a little bit.’
Smith, three pictures forward in a single day within the second version of the occasion that launched LIV Golf final yr when he was nonetheless on the PGA tour, got here out of the blocks rapidly, making two birdies on the second and third, earlier than bogeying the fifth.
However the Queenslander responded with extra birdies on the eighth, tenth, thirteenth and par-three seventeenth, with a few bogeys in his roller-coaster spherical, on the twelfth and the 529-yard, par-5 final, making certain it wasn’t a simple afternoon.
Smith will likely be searching for to grow to be the primary man to win back-to-back Claret Jugs since Padraig Harrington 15 years in the past at Hoylake, and is planning a break earlier than launching his Open preparations.
‘In all probability no golf for me subsequent week,’ he mentioned.
‘I will be heading as much as Hoylake on Saturday, so I will have a little bit of an extended prep than typical, however I will put the golf equipment down for 3 or 4 days, simply hand around in London, see all of the sights, and simply have a very good time, chill out.’
Smith was disillusioned his missed par putt on the final meant his ‘Ripper’ outfit, that includes him, Leishman, Jed Morgan and Matt Jones, might solely end runners-up within the group occasion, one shot behind the American 4Aces GC group of Reed, Pat Perez, Dustin Johnson and Peter Uihlein.
Smith completed one shot away from his nice Australian pal, Marc Leishman, who fired a 66
The 4Aces, Patrick Reed, Pat Perez, Dustin Johnson and Peter Uihlein, received the group occasion
‘Clearly thrilled concerning the particular person win however it will have been good to rise up there with the boys,’ Smith added.
‘I hit a very good putt, too, so a little bit of blended feelings in the intervening time.’
The Australian quartet, although, nonetheless received $375,000 every within the group occasion, with Smith pocketing $4,375,000 in whole – relatively greater than the $2.5 million he received finally yr’s one hundred and fiftieth British Open at St Andrew’s earlier than he moved to the Saudi-funded circuit.
Leishman collected a cool $2.25 million for his week’s work.