Written by
Mark Lamport-Stokes
Aug 13 2023
- 5 min
Ripper Bynder

Ripper GC captain Cameron Smith overcame two bogeys in his first three holes to deliver a master class in the final round at LIV Golf Bedminster, cruising to a seven-shot win in the individual competition while leading the all-Australian combination to their first-ever team title.

They celebrated in typical Aussie fashion, doing shoeys while atop the podium.

“Cam looked like he was pretty solid all week, looked like he was going to do what he did,” said Marc Leishman, “and 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.”

Smith, who had clinched his second career victory in the LIV Golf League in London last month, fired a 3-under 68 that included four birdies in five holes around the turn to post a 12-under total of 201. His runaway success moved him to the top of the individual points standings and kept him firmly on track in his quest to be crowned the season's Individual Champion.

“I’ve had a couple of bad weeks that I would like to take back, but other than that, I feel like I'm playing the most consistent golf and the best golf that I've played,” Smith said. “It's nice to be able to do that week in and week out. 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.”

Marc Leishman signed off with a 71 to finish eighth at 2-under while Jediah Morgan saved his best for last, posting the lowest round of the day with a four-birdie 66 that helped the Rippers break clear of Stinger GC in what had been a tight race for team honors over the first two days.

Ripper GC combined for a 20-under counting score to finish well ahead of second-placed Crushers GC, at 9 under, with the Stingers third, also at 9 under.

Here's a recap of Ripper GC's performance at LIV Golf Bedminster:

CAMERON SMITH (-12, 1st place)

Just five days after his LIV-record streak of 33 consecutive counting rounds ended in the third round at LIV Golf Greenbrier, Smith surged back into sizzling form as he opened with a 5-under 66 at Trump National Bedminster.

Extra work earlier in the week on his putting, which is usually one of his strengths, paid dividends as the 29-year-old Australian took a one-stroke lead heading into day two.

"Just a really solid round," said Smith. "Wasn't out of position much. Maybe missed a few fairways, but found myself on the green most of the times and having a look at birdie."

Smith stretched his advantage to four strokes after shooting a 4-under 67 in the second round, racking up seven birdies and totaling just 23 putts to head the field in that category.

Although he bogeyed the first and third holes in the final round, Smith then caught fire. He birdied the sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th to tighten his grip before picking up his final shot of the day at the par-5 15th.

"I did play good this week, the game felt good," said Smith. "I won a couple of weeks ago in London, and I wasn't happy with the way that I won. I was happy that I won, but I wasn't happy with how I played on that last day. I didn't want the same thing to happen today ... just trusted it the last 14, 15 holes, and it worked out all right."

Smith's individual winning margin of seven strokes is the largest in LIV Golf history, besting the six-shot victory by Bryson DeChambeau last week at Greenbrier.

MARC LEISHMAN (-2, 8th place)

In his second LIV Golf League start since placing a season-best third in London, Leishman opened with a level-par 71 at Trump National Bedminster. He ended the round heading the greens in regulation charts with 4Aces GC captain Dustin Johnson, earning a percentage of 83% after reaching 14 of 18.

Leishman did even better on day two, carding a 69 to climb into a tie for eighth at 2-under overall, a position he maintained after returning a 71 in the final round. That earned him his second top-10 finish of the season, following his third place in London last month.

JEDIAH MORGAN (+3, 27th place)

Morgan was in a precarious position with just three regular-season tournaments left before players finishing 45th or lower are relegated out of the league. The 23-year-old from Brisbane occupied 46th spot in the LIV Golf League's individual standings heading into Trump National Bedminster where he carded a 1-over 72 in the first round.

Worse was to follow for Morgan on day two as he struggled to a 78 but he redeemed himself with a superb 66 in the final round. He finished in style, recording an eagle at the par-5 eighth before making birdie at the par-4 ninth to finish in 27th place, his best result in the last six starts. However, despite that strong finish, he remained in 46th place in the season-long points standings.

MATT JONES (+4, 30th place)

With just three tournaments left in the regular season before the top 24 in points are guaranteed playing privileges for next year, Jones arrived in Bedminster looking to improve on his 35th place in the individual standings, but an opening 6-over 77 put him squarely on the back foot.

The 43-year-old from Sydney fared much better in the second round, returning a five-birdie 70 to move up the leaderboard, and he matched that effort in the final round, carding another 70 to finish his week at 4-over.


Field ranking in parentheses

Fairways Hit

Smith – 22 (T41)

Leishman – 27 (T22)

Morgan – 22 (T41)

Jones – 23 (T38)

Driving Distance Avg.

Smith – 300.0 (19)

Leishman – 299.0 (22)

Morgan – 302.1 (14)

Jones – 292.6 (34)

Greens in Regulation

Smith – 36 (T21)

Leishman – 39 (T6)

Morgan – 39 (T6)

Jones – 33 (T35)

Total Putts

Smith – 76 (1)

Leishman – 90 (T24)

Morgan – 94 (41)

Jones – 87 (T11)

Total Birdies

Smith – 18 (1)

Leishman – 11 (T7)

Morgan – 6 (T39)

Jones – 10 (T16)