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Gooch takes 10-shot lead into final round of LIV Australia

Talor Gooch Talor Gooch - The Canadian Press

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Talor Gooch continued his bogey-free run at the inaugural LIV Australia tournament Saturday and shot his second consecutive 10-under 62 to increase his lead to 10 strokes after two rounds at the Grange Golf Club.

Gooch had a 36-hole total of 124 going into Sunday's final round. He led by four strokes after the opening round.

As tournament leader, the 31-year-old American began his round on the first hole Saturday in the shotgun-start format and posted four birdies in five holes from the ninth hole. He birdied his final hole at the Grange to take his lead into double digits.

“Everything is just going my way,” said Gooch, who had an eagle and eight birdies Saturday. “I’m hitting the ball where I want it to go, a couple of times when I missed a shot I ended up in a decent spot.”

Gooch said the big lead could work against him.

“You don’t want to look like an idiot in front of a bunch of people, plain and simple,” Gooch said. “Whenever you’re doing something that you’ve worked your whole life for, you’re going to get nervous. I’ll definitely be nervous tomorrow, throughout.”

There was a six-way tie for second, including Brooks Koepka, who shot 65.

Local favorite and British Open champion Cam Smith was a further stroke back and in a tie for eighth after a 66. Phil Mickelson was among that group after a 65.

“Talor is playing some really good golf at the moment,” Smith said. “He would have to help us out a little bit which I don’t really wish on anyone.”

Mickelson was cheered most of the way in his round by a sellout crowd of 35,000.

“I didn’t really understand fully how many people were going to be out here,” he said. “What I am appreciative of is how kind everybody has been and how the comments have been fun or funny and positive. It has been fun to play in this environment. It makes you want come out and be a part of it and do more for the fans ... be more engaging."

The individual winner at the Grange will collect $4 million of the total $20 million purse.

The 14-event season continues next weekend at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.


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