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LIV Golf 2022: Dustin Johnson Vaults into Contention After Strong 2nd Round in Boston

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 3, 2022

Patrick Smith/LIV Golf via Getty Images

Dustin Johnson is making moves.

The veteran golfer moved into third place in second-round play at LIV Golf Boston on Saturday, shooting a seven-under 63.

That moved him just two strokes behind the leader, Talor Gooch, and one stroke behind Joaquin Niemann. Anirban Lahiri (-9) and the trio of Jason Kokrak, Bernd Wiesberger and Matthew Wolff (-8 each) rounded out the top five.

Cam Smith, who officially made the move to LIV Golf this past week, found himself in a tie for eighth at seven under. But while Johnson took a step back Saturday, shooting a 69 after Friday's 64, he surged up the leaderboard.

Johnson even surged to the lead late in the round, though Gooch overtook him.

LIV Golf @LIVGolfInv

.<a href="https://twitter.com/DJohnsonPGA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DJohnsonPGA</a> rebounds immediately and takes the OUTRIGHT LEAD with 3 to play 😲 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolf?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolf</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolfBoston?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolfBoston</a> <a href="https://t.co/cGRiSmlcKc">pic.twitter.com/cGRiSmlcKc</a>

LIV Golf @LIVGolfInv

Gooch has ice in his veins 🥶 Sinks the clutch putt to take the outright lead<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolf?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolf</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolfBoston?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolfBoston</a> <a href="https://t.co/vmG5K6Fiqd">pic.twitter.com/vmG5K6Fiqd</a>

LIV Golf @LIVGolfInv

Talor Gooch didn't slow down as the outright leader after round 2<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolf?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolf</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolfBoston?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolfBoston</a> <a href="https://t.co/Us7KyM7UMh">pic.twitter.com/Us7KyM7UMh</a>

Many of the day's highlights were provided by Johnson, however:

LIV Golf @LIVGolfInv

DJ's in a groove 🎼 Behind the lead by one stroke<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolf?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolf</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIvGolfBoston?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIvGolfBoston</a> <a href="https://t.co/2DwDXU1YE9">pic.twitter.com/2DwDXU1YE9</a>

LIV Golf @LIVGolfInv

The slow roller eagle from DJ stretches the 4 Aces lead to 2️⃣ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolf?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolf</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LIVGolfBoston?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LIVGolfBoston</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DJohnsonPGA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DJohnsonPGA</a> <a href="https://t.co/mO9qVKyNe1">pic.twitter.com/mO9qVKyNe1</a>

The breakaway and Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf remains one of the most controversial endeavors in sports and a regular focal point of the golfing world. Detractors of the tournament have criticized it for being a sportswashing effort by the Saudi government to detract from its human-rights violations.

Within the golfing world, meanwhile, LIV participants have been banned from PGA Tour events and the FedEx Cup playoffs. While a number of players have sued the PGA Tour over those bans, United States District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled earlier in August that the PGA Tour was within its rights to ban Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford from the FedEx Cup playoffs while that lawsuit remained in the courts.

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