An Australian golfer walks along, holding an iron in one hand as he looks down the fairway towards the green.

Australia’s Cameron Smith two shots from lead at first PGA play-offs event, where victory will secure world number one ranking

Cameron Smith has a huge chance to win the opening PGA Tour FedEx Cup play-offs tournament and claim the world number one ranking, set to enter the final round two shots from the lead.

As speculation continues to swirl about whether he’ll jump to the rebel LIV Golf circuit, Australian world number two Smith birdied two of the last three holes to shoot a 3-under 67 at the FedEx St Jude Championship in Memphis on Saturday.

Already the winner of the Tournament of Champions, Players Championship and British Open this year, 28-year-old Smith trails the only American leader, JJ Spaun (68), and second-placed Austrian Sepp Straka (68).

Smith is in a three-way tie for third with Americans Will Zalatoris (65) and Trey Mullinax (66).

He is keenly aware that a victory would take him to the world number one ranking for the first time after the incumbent, Scottie Scheffler, missed the cut on Friday.

“That’s been one of my goals probably since the start of the year is to try to get to that top spot,” Smith said. “try [to] chase it down.”

Fellow Australian Adam Scott fell to tied 25th, six shots from the lead, after a round of 70, while countryman Cam Davis (67) is tied 36th at 5-under.

Spaun had a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th and holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the next hole to claim the 54-hole lead at 13-under 197.