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Cameron Smith wins LIV Golf London ahead of Open title defense


HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, England — Reigning Open champion Cameron Smith held on to win his first golf tournament of the year on Sunday, closing with a 3-under 68 to win LIV Golf London by one shot over Patrick Reed and Marc Leishman.

The victory came less than two weeks before Smith defends his Open title at Royal Liverpool. It was his first win since the LIV Golf Chicago event last September.

Smith led Reed by six shots at the turn when the American made six birdies on the back nine at Centurion Club and closed with a 65. Reed failed to birdie the par 5s on Sunday.

Smith was two shots ahead playing the par-5 18th and made bogey. Reed made par, while Leishman birdied the final hole for a 66 to share second place with Reed.

In the team competition, Dustin Johnson’s 4 Aces rallied to win by one shot over Ripper, the team led by Smith. The 4 Aces had Reed, Johnson (67) and Pat Perez (66).

Smith finished at 15-under 198 and pocketed $4 million for the individual title. Next up is Royal Liverpool. The Australian won at St. Andrews last year.

Smith is among 16 players from LIV Golf who are playing the British Open.