Cam Smith lost his lead for the LIV jackpot in Saudi Arabia

Cameron Smith’s hopes of winning the $28 million jackpot were dashed as American Talor Gooch took control of the season-ending bonus after day two of the LIV Golf Finals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia .

Smith finished tied for 25th at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club on Saturday – a position that earns him no ranking points and would drop him to second in the individual champion standings. Season.

Three birdies on the back nine left Smith two shots behind overall, 10 shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.

More importantly for the Australian’s hopes of a big payday, Gooch moved into pole position in the individual championship race, a 64 putting him in ninth place at six under.

Smith admitted before the tournament began that it was impossible to ignore the staggering amount of money at stake as he eyes a $50 million year. The Australian golf superstar enters the final individual event of the season as the points leader in a three-way battle with Americans Gooch and Bryson DeChambeau for $28 million in prize money.

With 40 points available for the winner on Sunday, the simplest scenario for Smith (170 points) is to win against Gooch (162) and DeChambeau (146) and claim the season title as well as a payday. Other attractive salary.

Gooch will be assured of the individual title with his fourth win of the year, but DeChambeau can only earn bonus money if he wins or finishes second, and Smith and Gooch are outside the top 10.

With wins at LIV Golf Bedminster and London, and a playoff loss in Tulsa to Dustin Johnson, Smith has earned $23.3 million in prize money from the Saudi-backed breakaway tournament this season.

If he wins the individual prize throughout the season, the 2022 British Open champion and former world No. 2 will earn more than $50 million in betting winnings in 2023 alone. “Everybody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow and that’s going to increase the intensity,” Gooch said after his round on Saturday.

“It’s a great opportunity, you just have to calmly accept it and accept it.”

The other individual championship contender, DeChambeau, won big on Saturday with a seven-under 63, which left him tied for fourth place.

“All I’m focused on tomorrow is winning this tournament and the rest will take care of itself,” DeChambeau said.

“The work isn’t even finished yet. We have 18 holes left.”

Koepka started the tournament too far ahead to challenge for the individual title, but he has a chance to finish third in the standings and claim a $4 million bonus. He must regain the Jeddah title he won last year and hope DeChambeau finishes in 14th place.

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