Talor Gooch holds a one-stroke lead over Joaquin Niemann after the second round of the LIV Golf Invitational Boston with fellow American Dustin Johnson a shot further back in third spot.
Gooch’s five-under par second round leaves him on 12 under for the tournament ahead of Sunday’s conclusion and best placed to become the first US winner of a LIV event.
The first three winners in the Saudi-backed league have been South African pair Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.
Schwartzel was victorious in the inaugural event at The Centurion Club in Hertfordshire; Grace won at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland; and 2016 Open champion Stenson triumphed in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Two-time major champion Johnson is also in the mix to become the first American winner with his second-round seven under – the best round of the day – propelling him to 10 under par.
Niemann – whose move to LIV Golf was announced last week, along with that of 2022 Open champion Cam Smith – separates Gooch and Johnson on 11 under, with the Chilean carding a five-under on Saturday.
Johnson said: “I feel like I’ve been playing solid every week. Each round I’ve felt like I’m doing the right things.
“Eventually it’s all going to come together. The game is definitely in good form, and I like the direction it’s heading in.”
Smith, meanwhile, is five shots back on seven under – the Australian eagled the par-five 18th for the second day in a row during a one-under 69.
Phil Mickelson broke 70 in a LIV event for the first time in 10 rounds with a 68 but is 41st in the 48-man field on three over par.
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