Cam Smith charges into lead at LIV Golf Chicago with big payday up for grabs

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Cameron Smith
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Australian golfer Cam Smith is close to winning his first LIV Golf title after making the controversial tour switch. 

After falling short on debut in Boston earlier this month, the Aussie is on track to claim victory in Chicago after an impressive second round on Saturday (local time). 

As round one leader Dustin Johnson stumbled, Smith ended the day with back-to-back birdies to take a two-shot lead into the final round. 

Smith sits on -10 overall with Johnson lurking at -8 and Peter Uihlein right in contention at -7 following his stellar second round showing. 

“It was tricky out there,” Smith said.

“I got a couple of breaks and DJ (Dustin Johnson) didn’t quite make the putts he usually does.

“Game is feeling good. I’m looking forward to a great round tomorrow.”

Should Smith hold his nerve and take out the event, he'll pocket US$4 million in prize money.

The British Open champion also walked away with $1.5m after finishing tied for fourth in Boston earlier this month. 

After Chicago, LIV Golf will head to Thailand and Saudi Arabia in October before returning to the United States with a season-ending event in Miami. 

Smith's decision to join LIV Golf was the centre of plenty of discussion in recent months but the Aussie stressed upon his move that it wasn't just about the money.

"[Money] was definitely a factor in making that decision, I won’t ignore that or say that wasn’t a reason," Smith said in an interview with Golf Digest.

"It was obviously a business decision for one and an offer I couldn’t ignore.

"I’ll be able to spend more time at home in Australia and maybe have an event down there, as well. I haven’t been able to do that, and to get that part of my life back was really appealing.

"I’ve lived over here seven years now, and I love living in the U.S., but just little things like missing friends’ weddings, birthday parties and seeing your mates having a great time at rugby league games has been tough."

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Josh is a content producer for The Sporting News Australia.