Cameron Smith took advantage of Dustin Johnson’s bad second round to claim the lead at the LIV Golf Invitational Chicago on Saturday in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Smith fired a 4-under-par 68 to overtake first place while Johnson, the first-round leader, faltered with a 1-over 73. Smith leads Johnson by two strokes heading into the final round.
Peter Uihlein vaulted 18 spots up the leaderboard to move into solo third with his 6-under 66. He sits three shots back. Charl Schwartel (69) and Laurie Canter (68) are tied for fourth at 6 under for the tournament, four shots back.
Smith finished with five birdies against just one bogey. He might have changed tours but Smith has changed nothing about his game.
“Just keeping everything the same, to be honest,” Smith said. “Still doing the work at home and trying to come out here and win golf tournaments. My mentality hasn’t changed one bit. I think that’s why I’ve played so well the last couple weeks.”
Johnson opened with a bogey but then rebounded with a birdie on No. 2.
He would add another birdie on the front nine but carded bogeys on both par-3 holes on the back nine.
Uihlein scorched the back nine at Rich Harvest Farms. He nailed five birdies coming in after a front nine that included two birdies and a bogey.
“Played really steady, really solid, hit some fairways, hit some greens,” Uihlein said.
“Just kind of took what the course gave me. I made a bomb on 13, so I kind of stole one there, but it was a solid, steady day, so it was nice.”
In LIV’s team competition, Johnson’s 4 Aces GC finished at 15-under par and are in front by one stroke over Smith’s Punch GC. Johnson’s teammates are Talor Gooch, Pat Perez and Patrick Reed.
Cameron Smith tees off from the 18th tee box during the second round of the Invitational Chicago LIV Golf tournament at Rich Harvest Farms. (USA TODAY Sports)