Cameron Smith, looking for the No. 1 ranking, is two shots back in the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Cameron Smith, looking for the No. 1 ranking, is two shots back in the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

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Memphis, Tenn. – Open Champion Cameron Smith He spent all week ignoring questions about reports that LIV Golf would be the latest to release Saudi funding from the PGA Tour. His only concern was trying to win the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Now there’s another advantage: No. 1 in the world.

such as JJ Span He took a one-shot birdie lead for a 2-under 68 Sep StrakaAnd Zalatoris Entering contention for his first PGA Tour title, Smith caught everyone’s attention Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

He carded a 67 on the final hole, leaving him two shots off the lead and fully aware that victory would vault him to world No. 1.

“That’s probably been one of my goals since the beginning of the year, trying to get to that top spot,” Smith said. “Try and chase him.”

A week that started with a blow to LIV Golf when a federal judge denied requests from three of its players to be part of the postseason looks to be headed to the rival series with the new No. 1.

Confusion doesn’t seem to be a problem for Aussie, and there’s no shortage of it.

“There were definitely a few extras, but for me, I’m just trying to hit the best shot I can,” Smith said. “I’m here to hit good golf shots and make birdies.”

Spann had a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th and an 18-foot birdie putt on the next hole to extend his 54-hole lead to 13-under 197. Straka was with him until he couldn’t save par. A 68 on the 18th left him one shot behind.

Both are first-time winners on the PGA Tour this year, and a victory in the FedEx Cup playoffs carries even more weight — $2.7 million to the winner and a guaranteed berth to the FedEx Cup Finals at East Lake.

Zalatoris is also hungry for victory. He has been a strong customer throughout the season, losing in the finals at the PGA Championship and finishing one at the US Open. He is number 14 in the world. And he has yet to win on the PGA Tour.

Zalatoris opened in 71, even with his fiance, who put him in such a hole, he wants to know their plans if he doesn’t spend the weekend.

“I told her we’d cross that bridge when she got there,” Zalatoris said with a smile. His new caddy, Joel Stoke, decided to read them together on their second official round. Zalatoris shot a 63 and finished with a 65 on Saturday.

He was also two behind Trey Mullinax (66)

As for the next playoff event, think about it Tyler Duncan. He is ranked No. 118 in the FedEx Cup, and only the top 70 move on to next week’s BMW Championship in Delaware. Duncan had a 67 and was tied for sixth. He was three behind, and even if he didn’t win, he could move forward if he could hold his position.

Ryan Palmer He had a 32 on the back nine to salvage a 69.

There are 16 players separated by four shots, including this team. Sam Burns And Tony Finau. In his last two starts, the winner has finished 11 rounds with a score of 68 or less. He made bogey on the last hole, giving him a 69, leaving him four.

No one stood out like Smith, for many reasons. After being named “Champion Golfer of the Year” at St Andrews, it’s not just his first start, but the Daily Telegraph reports he’s signed with LIV and will join the charge outside Boston after the Tour Championship.

Smith steadfastly refused to talk about it.

“I’m a man of my word and when you guys want to know anything, it’s going to be me,” Smith said Tuesday. This happened shortly before a federal judge in California denied a bid by three LIV golfers to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Still, Saudi talk and golf disruptions are hard to ignore. Palmer was wrapping up an interview and was discussing the benefits of trying to get into the top 70 and make it through the East Lake Tour Championship to the top 30.

Smith was on deck, standing within ear shot about 10 feet away. Palmer was even more passionate about the FedEx Cup playoffs, and maybe not by accident.

“That’s what I love about what we do here,” Palmer said. “There’s always a place to climb and there’s always something to play for. Win every week, go top 70, go to East Lake. That’s the great thing about the PGA Tour. There’s a place to go. We’re not just playing for. Money is great.”

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