PGA Tour 2022, LIV Golf, Cameron Smith, FedExCup playoffs, scores, leaderboard, news, highlights

PGA Tour 2022, LIV Golf, Cameron Smith, FedExCup playoffs, scores, leaderboard, news, highlights

Australia’s Cam Smith is reportedly defecting to LIV Golf in a $140m deal – but he’s still storming up the leaderboard at the FedEx St Jude Championship as the PGA Tour playoffs begin.

After a stunning hole-out eagle from 156 yards capped a respectable opening round at TPC Southwind in Memphis as the world number two finished three-under, the second day saw him emerge into contention.

A sensational draw shot gave Smith an eagle chance on the par-five 16th, and the Australian duly drained the putt to move to eight-under overall and three off the lead.

But a tricky birdie putt on the 17th just curled around the cup and missed, as a commentator exclaimed: “How did that stay out?”

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Cam Smith holes out for EAGLE! | 00:24

Smith finished -8 overall after his second round 65, leaving three shots behind solo leader JJ Spaun (62.67).

Smith picked up birdies on the fifth and sixth holes, and another on the eighth and 14th holes.

A poor drive found the rough on the 15th, where he gave a shot back, before his impressive eagle on the 16th.

Austrian Sepp Straka (64.66) is tied for second with American Troy Merritt (65.65) on 10 under. Straka remarkably had missed his last six cuts before this event.

“Took what the course gave me,” Spaun said. “I worked on some good things in the past couple weeks that are starting to pay off. Got a nice feel with my swing and just trusting it. And the putter is working, too.”

Straka birdied four of the last five holes to shoot 66. “Hadn’t played great coming into this week,” Straka said. “But that’s golf. You’re going to have the ebbs and flows and just go with it.”

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Meanwhile world number one Scottie Scheffler missed the cut for just the fourth time this season, a bombshell result that gives Smith a huge opportunity to claim the PGA Tour playoffs.

The tournament is the opener of the FedEx Cup playoffs, a season-ending trio of events with a winner’s prize of $18 million USD.

Only 125 players qualified on season points and only the top 70 advance to next week’s BMW Championship, where the 30 qualifiers for the Tour Championship in Atlanta are decided.

Aussie Adam Scott carded a 67 to finish seven-under overall, while fellow Aussie trio Marc Leishman (69.69), Cam Davis (72.66), both just mad the cut at two-under.

But Lucas Herbert missed the cut after a second-round 70 left him three-over total after a poor opening-round 73, while Jason Day (65, 74) also missed out.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy missed the weekend after a 69 to stand on 139, one over the cut line.

Did Scheffler give Smith ultimate snub?! | 00:22