LIV Golf Adelaide 2023, Australia, scores, leaderboard, round two, Cameron Smith, updates, Grange, Talor Gooch

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Cameron Smith remains the darling of LIV Golf Adelaide — but American Talor Gooch is running away with the win after two rounds of sizzling golf.

Gooch opened the tournament on Friday with a 10-under par round, which has been followed by another birdie blitz on day two at The Grange.

Gooch shot a second consecutive round of 62 following eight birdies and an eagle, leaving him at 20-under par — 10 shots ahead of Abraham Ancer, Brooks Koepka, Carl Schwartzel, Cameron Tringale and Pat Perez.

“Talor Gooch is on another planet right now,” commentator Arlo White said after play.

The winner, almost certain to be Gooch, takes home nearly A$6 million from the A$30 million purse.

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Smith, meanwhile, remains the clear crowd favourite and was seen pausing his round to sign a glove and hand it to a child in the crowd.

The Australian fired 69 on Saturday to take him to nine-under par as he chases a top-five finish.

His round produced one of the highlights though with a stunning recovery from the shrub at No.7.

Also at nine-under with Smith is Anirban Lahiri, Harold Varner III, Phil Mickelson and Dean Burmester.

‘NERVOUS STAR NEARS MASSIVE WIN’

When the LIV caravan rolled in to Adelaide it appeared to be a one-man show with Smith plastered everywhere and expectation as much as high hopes the Aussie superstar would pocket the winner’s cheque.

Days of adulation and the sort of fan focus his boss, Greg Norman, encountered regularly in his pomp transitioned to enjoyment and a bevy of second day birdies for Smith who jumped in to reach of a podium finish and plenty to play for on Sunday.

But while Smith did enough to keep the masses enthralled the one-man show became all about Gooch who is just 18 holes away from his first LIV win.

The American, who credited his long-time Australian caddy, Mal Baker, for his inside knowledge on the greens in particular this week, said he was in for a nervous night knowing what’s on offer on Sunday.

“Whenever you‘re doing something that you’ve worked your whole life for, I think you’re going to get nervous,” he said.

“I’ll definitely be nervous tomorrow throughout. I was nervous today throughout. You don’t want to look like an idiot in front of a bunch of people, plain and simple.”

Gooch, who hadn’t finished better than 14th in the three LIV events so far this season, had the thousands following Smith, who still finished 11-shots behind despite shooting a 66, considering ditching the home-town hero to see the leader, such was the near-flawless level of golf he was playing.

His 20-under is the lowest 36-hole score in LIV history

Smith is “still in the tournament” but seemingly playing for second barring what would have to be one of the most calamitous collapses for Gooch not to snare the massive cash first prize on Sunday.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 22: Cam Smith of Ripper GC tees off on the 12th hole during day two of Liv Golf Adelaide at The Grange Golf Course on April 22, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Coming in to the tournament everyone knew it was shorter than plenty, and as golfers like to say, was “gettable” in favourable conditions.

Calling it gettable seems an understatement with 18 players at eight-under or better, after two days of perfect weather for low-scoring which mixed perfectly with the party-like atmosphere which everyone in attendance knew was something different to what they’d seen before.

The top of the leaderboard was littered with the players they came to see as well.

Brooks Koepka, also a runner-up at Augusta and a last-start LIV winner in Orlando joined the birdie blitz with a bogey-free 65 to grab a five-way share of second place..

Fresh from his runner-up finish at the Masters Phil Mickelson, who had been criticised for his poor output before Augusta, was in second at one-stage on Saturday before dropping slightly after a seven-under 65 left him at nine-under.

Phil Mickelson in Adelaide on April 21, 2023. (Photo by Brenton Edwards / AFP) /Source: AFP

The best brought their best on a windless, sunny Saturday.

Between them the players who filled the top 15 positions only had 13 bogeys for the day. It was the entertainment LIV promised in golfing form.

— NCA Newswire

THE LEADERBOARD

20-under Talor Gooch

10–under Pat Perez, Brooks Koepka, Abraham Ancer, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Tringale

9-under Cameron Smith

THE AUSSIES

9-under Cameron Smith

4-under Marc Leishman

1-over Matt Jones

3-over Jed Morgan

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