22 Apr 2023 | Professional golf |
Smith fires at The Grange as Gooch dominates
by Tony Webeck
A runaway Talor Gooch has quietened the chorus of Cam Smith fanatics as Ripper GC fell to the bottom of the team table on day two of LIV Golf Adelaide at The Grange Golf Club.
Four strokes clear at the start of play following a round of 10-under 62 on Friday, Gooch more than doubled his advantage with another 10-under total for a bogey-free 20-under through just 36 holes.
He had eight birdies and an eagle at the par-5 10th hole to put a gap of 10 shots on a group of six players at 10-under, major champions Charl Schwartzel (66), Brooks Koepka (65) and Louis Oosthuizen (66) level with Pat Perez (67), former Australian Open champion Abraham Ancer (65) and Cameron Tringale (65).
Despite starting his second round with a bogey, Smith peeled off seven birdies to climb into a share of eighth at eight-under par, level with Phil Mickelson (65), fellow Australian PGA champion Harold Varner III (65), Dean Burmester (69) and Anirban Lahiri (66).
As Captain Cam surged, it proved to be a difficult day for his Ripper GC team-mates so desperate to enjoy team success on home soil.
A brilliant shot to set up eagle at the par-5 10th was the highlight as Marc Leishman posted two-under 70 to be in a tie for 35th at four-under while Matt Jones (73) is in a share of 44th and Jed Morgan (71) 46th with one round to play.
Ripper GC’s two-round total of 14-under par is 22 shots behind the Range Goats who lead by three from Stinger GC with 4 Aces third after two rounds at 29-under par.
Although he will start the final round with a 12-stroke deficit, Smith believes that he can go even lower again on Sunday, admitting that it might take some help from Gooch to reel him in.
“I feel as though I've got the place pretty sorted in regards to how to play it. I think there is a really low number out there,” said Smith.
“I shot 6-under today and I can think of three or four off the top of my head that could have been better.
“Obviously Talor is playing some really good golf at the moment. I think he would have to help us out a little bit, which I don't really wish on anyone, but I'm going to go out there tomorrow and play the same way as I did today.
“I feel as though I hit lots of quality shots, just a few more of those 10-footers need to go in.”
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