LIV Golf Tucson R2: Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson way off the pace

Marc Leishman leads Sergio Garcia by two shots heading into the final round at LIV Golf Tucson.

Andy Roberts's picture
Sat, 18 Mar 2023
Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson way off the pace at LIV Golf Tucson

Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith, without question two of LIV Golf's biggest and best players, find themselves nine and 10 shots off the pace respectively heading into the final round of LIV Golf Tucson.

Johnson carded an improved 68 highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 1st hole but he looks on from 2-under par with 18 holes to play.

That's a whopping nine shots behind Australia's Marc Leishman, who also eagled the opening hole en route to a 66. 

Leishman progressed to 11-under par to move two shots clear of Sergio Garcia, who went one better with a 65.

Both players are looking to earn their first LIV Golf League title on Sunday. 

Meanwhile pre-tournament favourite Cameron Smith could only add a 70 to his first-round 71 and he looks on from 10 shots off the pace in tied 34th in the 48-man field. 

Home Arizona favourite Phil Mickelson, who is on the biggest money of all at $200 million, carded a flawless 67 to move to 5-under par in tied 10th.

Fred Couples blasted Mickelson over that particular fee earlier this week. 

Elsewhere, Patrick Reed shot a 71 to fall back to 1-over par in a for 40th and Bryson DeChambeau's struggles continued with a disastrous 75 to drop to 5-over par. 

Louis Oosthuizen endured two tough breaks in the space of about two minutes when his approach shot clattered the flag and ended up off the green. He then chipped his ball up on the green and the ball flipped out. 

Oosthuizen is still in the hunt for the title though at just three shots behind on 8-under par.

That's the same score as Brendan Steele, Cameron Tringale and Charles Howell III, who is looking to go back-to-back in the second LIV Golf League event of the season. 

In the team event, Garcia's Fireballs lead the way on 22-under par. 

Mickelson's Hy Flyers are one back in second.