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Cameron Smith back to winning ways ahead of Open defence with LIV Golf victory

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Australia’s Cameron Smith enjoyed the ideal preparation for the defence of his Open Championship title at Royal Liverpool with a second victory in the LIV Golf League.

Smith carded a final round of 68 at the Centurion Club in Hemel Hempstead to finish 15 under par, a shot ahead of Ripper GC team-mate Marc Leishman and former Masters champion Patrick Reed.

“It’s good,” said Smith, who won his first major title at St Andrews last year thanks to a superb closing round of 64 on the Old Course.

“I think it’s more of a confidence thing there. Just winning again I think is nice.

“It really hasn’t been that long, I think. In Australia at the end of the year was my last win, but it feels like forever, and especially the way I’ve been playing the last couple months, I’ve been knocking on the door.

“It’s nice to get one out of the way, and hopefully it opens the floodgates a little bit.

“I wouldn’t say it really takes the pressure off. I think it’s just nice to be playing good golf. There’s nothing worse going into a big golf tournament and you’re playing crappy golf.”

Asked how he will prepare for defending the Claret Jug on a course he has never played before, Smith added: “Probably no golf for me next week.

“I’ll be heading up to Hoylake on Saturday, so I’ll have a bit of a longer prep than usual, but yeah, put the clubs down for three or four days, just hang out in London, see all the sights, and yeah, just have a good time, relax.”

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