Cam Smith has four-shot lead at LIV Golf with Mickelson close behind

Cameron Smith steamrolls into four-shot lead at LIV Bedminster as Phil Mickelson launches a charge up the leaderboard

  • Overnight leader Cam Smith extended his lead to four shots in the second round
  • Phil Mickelson enjoyed a Saturday surge to tied-second after shooting a 67
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Cameron Smith continued his red-hot run on Day Two of LIV Bedminster as Phil Mickelson put his off-course woes behind him to charge up the leaderboard.

Smith, coming off an almost flawless opening five-under Friday, maintained his solo lead and extended it to four shots as he steamrolled around Trump National Bedminster during the second round Saturday.

The Australian made a stuttering start to round two with a double bogey at three but a birdie at six put him back on track. 

From there he carded six more birdies with the sole bogey on his card coming at the par-three 14th.

His lead appeared to come under threat at 17 when his wayward tee shot nestled up against some fencing. But, thanks to the help of a drop, he salvaged par.

Cameron Smith continued his red-hot run on Day Two of LIV Bedminster at Trump National

Phil Mickelson charged up the leaderboard to tied-second with a round of four-under 67

The Australian maintained his solo lead and extended it to four shots during the second round

Following his round, Smith joked that he was always able to pull off sensational recovery shots because he’s ‘managed to hit a terrible shot to get there.’

‘I do enjoy it, actually,’ he said post-round. ‘I love playing out of different lies and hitting crazy shots. I don’t know, I’ve always loved to be creative, and I feel like that brings the best out of me.’

Meanwhile, Mickelson enjoyed a Saturday surge with a four-under 67 to set himself up with the chance to break his LIV Golf drought during Sunday’s final round. 

The 53-year-old, who has failed to win on the breakaway despite being one of its most outspoken supporters since it burst on to the scene last June, sits four back of Smith in tied-second with Dean Burmester.

Chasing his first LIV Golf win, Mickelson carded five birdies with the only blemish coming at the 14th.

He began his round by carrying his momentum from his round one finish over to Saturday and opening Day Two with a birdie. 

Smith welcomed the challenge fro Mickelson following the round, saying: ‘I think it’s always good to have someone pushing you. I think the other two guys in my group played well enough to push me along.

‘But it was always about making birdies, it was never about hitting the middle of greens and two-putting. 

Smith welcomed the challenge fro Mickelson, insisting it was good to be pushed

‘It is nice to have someone there pushing you, especially when you’re playing good and you’re hitting your irons good.’

The lefty, who started on the 18th with LIV’s customary shotgun start, made another at the second to put himself into contention. More followed at eight, 11 and 12 as the six-time major winner rocketed up the leaderboard, much to the delight of the spectators at Trump National Bedminster.

Despite being a 45-time PGA Tour winner, Mickelson insisted that he would be nervous to contend Sunday. 

‘I haven’t won since the PGA in ’21, so it’s been a couple years, and I would love getting back into that feeling of having a chance to win and having each shot bring that pressure about,’ he said.

‘Sure, I’ll feel it [the nerves]. That’s why we still want to play or I still want to play because I love that challenge of trying to compete and trying to do that, and I still get nervous every time I have a chance.’

What came as somewhat of a surprise was his ability to perform amid the background noise surrounding his alleged gambling. 

Mickelson was accused of wagering over $1billion over the past three decades and racking up gambling losses of nearly $100million by his former betting partner Billy Walters Thursday. 

Mickelson enjoyed a Saturday surge to set himself up with the chance to break his drought

The fans at Trump National Bedminster cheered him on as the lefty carded five birdies

The Las Vegas businessman also claimed that Mickelson even tried to place a $400,000 wager on his own US team to win the Ryder Cup back in 2012, leading Rory McIlroy to fire a savage dig at the chief LIV defector. 

But it clearly hasn’t dented Mickelson’s drive, instead it might have only fueled it.

Burmester shot a three-under 68 to join Mickelson at tied-second, five-under for the tournament. 

Patrick Reed, Anirban Lahiri and Bubba Watson share a spot at fourth at four-under for the tournament. 

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