|-12 C Smith (Aus); -9 M Leishman (Aus), L Oosthuizen (SA), T Pieters (Bel); -8 P Reed (US); -7 H Stenson (Swe)|
|Selected others: -6 D Johnson (US), A Ancer (Mex); -5 B DeChambeau (US); -4 P Casey (Eng), B Koepka (US), S Garcia (Spa); -3 I Poulter (Eng), L Westwood (Eng)|
Australia’s Cameron Smith carded a second-round 67 to open up a three-stroke lead in the LIV Golf event at the Centurion Golf Club near London.
Smith shot a four-under-par 67 to move to 12-under after a round which included six birdies and two bogeys.
“It was just a long day,” said the 29-year-old, who shot a first-round 63.
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters (67), Australian Marc Leishman (69) and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (63) are joint second on nine under.
Smith added: “It’s always tough to back up a really nice round, and I think that took it out of me, and then again today kind of grinding around and having to think a little bit more than what I wanted to.
“It definitely wasn’t my prettiest stuff, but really proud of the way that I hung in there. There’s something about grinding out a good round.”
The tournament marked the return of LIV Golf to the Hemel Hempstead venue where the inaugural event was held last June.
Smith and Leishman are both part of the Ripper team, who are leading, but Oosthuizen helped his Stinger team move to one shot behind them, prior to the final round on Sunday.
Oosthuizen carded an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey in his impressive second-round score.
“Obviously I went through a stretch there where I made a few birdies and an eagle,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable how the leaderboards can change out here with three scores to count.
“With this format on Sunday, you can be three, four behind with a couple of holes to go and you can still do something. It’s very exciting.”