Cameron Smith lunged to within striking distance of Jason Scrivener’s lead

All except Smith. The Open champion and LIV Golf poster boy made his move during Round Two at Royal Queensland on Friday, edging up the leaderboard as his name stuck out like a sore thumb. His fine short match was the backbone of his par-65, lifting him into second place and just one shot shy of Jason Scrivener’s 36-hole (-10).

“The crowd was great today, they looked like they were three and four deep on either side of the fairway all day,” Smith said. “My old son was swinging at me [saying] He didn’t watch me play golf [during Thursday’s first round]. I don’t know what he’s grumbling about.”

The rest of the debit cards?

Scott (-4) made a pit stop after being under 66 on Thursday, except for a long, lone birdie on the par 17th hole that brought the decorated galleries to life. “It was nothing good, and I found my element in a group of drunk Queenslanders,” Scott joked.

Overnight leader Min Woo Lee (-4) fell back with a score of over 73. Golf maverick Mark Leishman (-1) squeezed inside the first cut he had to make for a while. Presidents’ Trophy star Cameron Davis (+1) tackled the wrong side and made the weekend. World number 27 (+4) Ryan Fox, who stopped in Auckland for just under eight hours on his way back from Dubai to pick up his family and do his laundry, didn’t show up for the weekend. Lucas Herbert did not even reach the end of the second round, as he was knocked out of the court due to a back injury.

Adam Scott celebrates his only birdie of the second round on the 17th hole.

Adam Scott celebrates his only birdie of the second round on the 17th hole.attributed to him:GT

Which left Smith carrying most of the star power. The fair that followed he and Scott was so large that it stretched the length of the first hole on both sides. The patrons parked themselves in the middle of the lanes behind the group just so they could see what was going on. Ticket sales for the event have already surpassed the mark at the same stage for Scott’s 2013 Masters comeback.

DP World Tour regular Scrivener will have to get used to it, being pulled to play alongside Smith in the final set on Saturday. Scrivener may be the cutest – and richest – Australian athlete unknown to those outside the golf bubble.

The 33-year-old has earned nearly $7 million in career earnings from the DP World Tour alone despite not winning a tournament there. In fact, golfers rarely win, and they don’t have to. They can live a healthy life without raising a glass. Scrivener is a case in point. His only professional win came at the New South Wales Open five years earlier.


“I definitely thought it would be the beginning of something,” said Scrivener. “But it’s hard to win nowadays. You have to play flawless, beautiful golf. The level of play is very high, but [I’ve got] Another chance this weekend. [and am] We look forward to that.”

His only problem is that he has a winning machine looming. And he knows a little about flawless golf.

Except for one frustrating moment when he took a poor approach to ten with an equally bad chip, prompting Queenslanders an extremely “f- me” under his breath, Smith was tyrannical going home. He stepped onto the driving range before his second run, and a pendulum of people swung with him.

Have you heard of him? How did they not?

Watch the Australian PGA Championship on 9Network and 9Now from November 24-27.

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