(Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf)

Cameron Smith and his Ripper GC are one of four teams this LIV Golf League season that has yet to reach the podium. But the all-Australian lineup has an opportunity to end that drought at LIV Golf London – and perhaps even grab their first-ever team trophy.

The Rippers enter the final round at Centurion Club with a one-shot lead over the defending London champion Stinger GC, while Smith has a three-shot lead on the individual leaderboard. Smith already has one individual win in his LIV career, winning last season in Chicago. He would love to have company on the podium and sweep both titles on Sunday.

“In our group chat, we’ve said multiple times that we need to get up there and spray champagne over each other,” Smith said after his 4-under 67 moved him to 12-under. “I think that would be a pretty fun experience. Still work to be done on the individual side, but it would be nice to see us at the top of the leaderboard on the team side, as well.”

Smith and teammate Marc Leishman have handled the bulk of the contributions through the first two days, with Leishman among the group of pursuers tied for second at 9-under after shooting 69 on Saturday. Matt Jones contributed a 67 to match Smith’s round, and the fourth member of the team, Jediah Morgan, shot a 69 to match Leishman’s counting score.

“If we can look after the individual, play as well as we can, all shoot good scores, the team stuff will take care of itself,” Leishman said, who will play with his captain in the same group for the second consecutive round. “Hopefully I can make a bit of a run at Cam tomorrow and make things interesting.”

Marc Leishman of Ripper GC is tied-second heading into the final day of LIV Golf London. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf)

Leishman will have company in trying to chase down Smith, who will defend his Open Championship title in two weeks at Royal Liverpool. Also at 9-under is Stingers GC Captain Louis Oosthuizen and RangeGoats GC’s Thomas Pieters, with 4Aces GC’s Patrick Reed (-8) and Majesticks GC Co-Captain Henrik Stenson (-7) also lurking.

The team competition certainly promises to be interesting in the final round. The South African Stingers started the day eight shots off the lead but quickly moved up the leaderboard Saturday, with Oosthuizen and defending London individual champion Charl Schwartzel off to hot starts.

Oosthuizen was 7-under through his first 10 holes while Schwartzel was 7-under through his first 11. Dean Burmester was also 5-under through his first 14. When Oosthuizen eagled the par-5 13th, the Stingers had overtaken the Rippers for the lead.

“I went through a stretch there where I made a few birdies and an eagle, and then Dean and Charl probably had to go through the same,” Oosthuizen said. “It’s unbelievable how the leaderboards can change out here with three scores to count.”

Late in the day, the leaderboard flipped again, as the Stingers finished on tougher holes while Smith and Leishman had more scoring opportunities. Smith’s birdie on the par-5 18th to finish his round not only added to his individual lead but gave the Rippers the 36-hole team lead.

“It’s nice to see Leish and I at the top of the leaderboard,” Smith said. “I know the other two boys are trying their hardest out there to get their team score up, and hopefully we can go out there tomorrow and show them what we’re really made of.”


Here are the standings and counting scores for Saturday’s second round of the team competition at LIV Golf London. The three best scores from each team count in every round for their total team score. The team with the lowest cumulative score after three rounds wins the team title.

1. RIPPER GC (-23): Cameron Smith 67, Matt Jones 67, Marc Leishman 69 (Rd. 2 score: -10)
2. STINGER GC (-22): Louis Oosthuizen 63, Charl Schwartzel 66, Dean Burmester 67 (Rd. 2 score: -17)
T3. 4ACES GC (-19): Patrick Reed 64, Dustin Johnson 65, Peter Uihlein 68 (Rd. 2 score: -16)
T3. RANGEGOATS GC (-19): Harold Varner III 66, Thomas Pieters 67, Bubba Watson 71 (Rd. 2 score: -9)
T5. MAJESTICKS GC (-16): Henrik Stenson 66, Laurie Canter 69, Lee Westwood 70 (Rd. 2 score: -8)
T5. CRUSHERS GC (-16): Paul Casey 65, Bryson DeChambeau 67, Anirban Lahiri 69 (Rd. 2 score: -12)
7. SMASH GC (-14): Chase Koepka 66, Brooks Koepka 66, Jason Kokrak 69 (Rd. 2 score: -12)
8. HYFLYERS GC (-13): Brendan Steele 67, Cameron Tringale 69, James Piot 70 (Rd. 2 score: -7)
9. CLEEKS GC (-12): Graeme McDowell 65, Martin Kaymer 68, Richard Bland 70 (Rd. 2 score: -10)
10. FIREBALLS GC (-11): Abraham Ancer 68, Eugenio Chacarra 69, Carlos Ortiz 69 (Rd. 2 score: -7)
11. IRON HEADS GC (-9): Kevin Na 64, Danny Lee 67, Scott Vincent 67 (Rd. 2 score: -15)
12. TORQUE GC (-7): David Puig 68, Joaquin Niemann 69, Sebastian Munoz 69 (Rd. 2 score: -7)