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Smith cruises, Mickelson struggles in final round of LIV Golf Bedminster

BEDMINSTER, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 13: Captain Cameron Smith of Ripper GC walks to the 16th tee during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club on August 13, 2023 in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (WISH) — Cameron Smith made LIV Golf history this weekend in Bedminster.

Smith won LIV Golf Bedminster by seven strokes, the largest individual winning margin in league history. Bryson DeChambeau won by six strokes last week during LIV Golf’s tournament at Greenbrier.

With the victory, Smith moved to No. 1 in the individual champion point standings.

“It’s something that I’ve worked for, something that was a goal of mine at the start of the year was to be up there with at least a chance for the last event,” Smith said in a news release.

It was Smith’s third victory in 15 starts dating back to last season.

But, Sunday, Smith was able to experience a first as well. His team, Ripper GC, won its first-ever team title at Bedminster.

“Just the satisfaction of being able to celebrate a win with some of your best mates in the world,” Marc Leishman said in a news release. “… We got close in London as a team, but it was a weird feeling on the 18th green.

“For us to pull ahead as a team and be able to celebrate on that 18th green an individual victory, a team victory, eight happy blokes ­– caddies, teams, everything ­– it was more than that. That’s what LIV Golf is all about, that team side of it, and just celebrating together.”

Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson’s day went in a different direction.

Mickelson played in the final group on Sunday but shot a 4-over 75 during the final round. The decisive hole was arguably the par-three seventh when Mickelson shot a quintuple-bogey 8.

“When you’re a few behind, and you want to make something happen, you kind of feel like you need to do it,” Smith said in a news release. “This golf course, the way it is, not only that hole but pretty much every hole around here, you need to be careful of what you’re trying to do.

“I can understand how that happened, 100%. Phil is a competitor. He’s one of the best golfers of all time. He hasn’t been in the winner’s circle for a couple of years, so I understand that want from him to make a statement, and I think it would have been a different story if that hole had been a little bit different.”

LIV Golf takes a bit of a break before returning to action in September in the Chicago area at Rich Harvest Farms.

WISH-TV golf expert Jason Alexander joined News 8 Sports’ Andrew Chernoff on SportsLocker Sunday to discuss Smith’s LIV Golf victory. He also discussed Mickelson’s rough Sunday and previewed next month’s Ryder Cup.

Click on the video above to watch their conversation.