Cameron Smith, eyeing the top rankings, takes two shots at FedEx St. Jude

Memphis, Ten – Open Champion Cameron Smith He spent the entire week brushing off inquiries about reports that he would be the last to leave the Saudi-funded LIV PGA Tour. His only concern was trying to win the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Now there’s another feature at stake: #1 in the world.

until JJ Spoon Capture a pair of late sparrows for 2-under-68 to lead by one shot Seb StrakaAnd the Will Zlatoris He moved into contention for his first PGA Tour title, the one that grabbed everyone’s attention on Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude.

He chased his last hole for 67, leaving him between those two strokes way off the lead and well aware that the win takes him to #1 in the world.

“That was probably one of my goals from the start of the year to try and get to that number one spot,” Smith said. “Try and chase her.”

The week that began with a federal judge dealing a blow to LIV Golf by denying the request of three of its players to be part of the post-season could very well end with a new No. 1 looking destined for the rival series.

Distractions don’t seem to be a problem for the Australian, and there are no shortages of them.

“There was definitely more, but for me, I’m just trying to get the best shot possible,” Smith said. “That’s what I’m here to do is take good golf and make sparrows.”

Spoon had a two-stroke jumper in the 5 16 par and drilled an 18-foot jumper into the next hole to claim the 54-hole lead by a 13-under 197 lead. Stracka was there with him until he failed to salvage a bunker tie on the 18th for 68 that left him one shot behind. .

Both are first-time winners of the PGA Tour this year, and the FedEx Cup qualifier win carries more weight — $2.7 million for the winner and a guaranteed place in East Lake for the FedEx Cup Final.

Zalatores thirst for victory. He was a tough client in the majors, lost in a PGA Championship playoff and earned a comeback at the US Open. It is number 14 in the world. He has yet to win the PGA Tour.

Zalatoris opened with 71 that put him in a hole so much that his fiancée wanted to know her plans if he didn’t make it to the weekend.

“I told her, ‘Let’s cross that bridge when he gets there,'” said Zalatores, smiling. He decided to let his new caddy, Joel Stock, read the pitches on their second official tour together. Zalatoris shot a 63 and followed up with a 65 on Saturday.

He was also at the back, along with Tree Moulinex (66).

As for chasing the next breakout event, think Tyler Duncan. He’s 118th in the FedEx Cup, and only the 70th best moves into next week’s BMW Championship in Delaware. Duncan had 67 and was tied up in sixth. He was three times behind, and even if he didn’t win, he could move forward if he could keep his position.

Ryan Palmer He had 32 on his back nine to save a 69 and left him on the cusp of a top 70 lead.

There are 16 players separated by four shots, a group that includes Sam Burns And the Tony Vino. The winner in his last two games, Finau finished his 11-round streak at 68 or less. He made a bogey on the last hole and gave it a 69 leaving a four behind.

Nobody stands out like Smith, for many reasons. Marking his first start since being presented at St Andrews as the “Golfers of the Year Champion”, the Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday that he has signed a contract with Liv and will join the defectors outside Boston after the Tour Championships concludes.

Smith firmly refused to talk about it.

“I am a man of my word, and whenever I need to know anything, I will say it,” Smith said on Tuesday. That was shortly before a California federal judge denied an application by three LIV golfers to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

However, it is hard to ignore the Saudi talk and turmoil in golf. Palmer was wrapping up his interview and discussing the merits of trying to move into the Top 70 and staying in search of the Top 30 advancing to the Tour Championship in East Lake.

Smith was on deck, standing within earshot, about 10 feet away. Palmer became more and more passionate about FedEx Cup games, and it was probably no coincidence.

“That’s what I love about what we’re doing here,” Palmer said. “There is always a place where we rise and there is always something to play for. Win every week, go into the top 70, go to East Lake. And what’s so good about the PGA Tour is that there’s somewhere to go. We don’t just play for money. That’s Fabulous. “

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