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Smith makes late run of birdies for 63 to lead LIV Golf

Cameron Smith Cameron Smith - The Canadian Press

HERTFORDSHIRE, England (AP) — British Open champion Cameron Smith ran off seven birdies over his last 10 holes Friday for an 8-under 63, giving him a one-shot lead over Marc Leishman after one round of LIV Golf-London.

The closing holes at Centurion Golf Club were there for the taking. Leishman birdied five of the last six holes, but that came at the start of his round because of the shotgun start. Leishman began his round on the 12th hole.

LIV Golf-London is where the Saudi-backed league began last year, only in 2022 it was a week before the U.S. Open. For Smith, this is the last tournament he plays before defending his title in the British Open, to be played July 20-23 at Royal Liverpool.

Smith and Leishman play for Ripper, which led the team scoring after one day.

Thomas Pieters had a 66 and was in third place. Talor Gooch, who leads the LIV Golf points list, was among those at 67.

PGA champion Brooks Koepka started and finished his round with a bogey and shot 72, leaving him in a tie for 33rd. Koepka this week unloaded on his Smash teammate Matthew Wolff, accusing him of quitting on rounds and wasting talent.

Wolff had only two birdies in his round of 73 and was tied for 38th in the 48-man field.


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