This one was mooted as far back as The Open, which the Aussie won at St Andrew’s.
Cameron Smith, the world number two, has been confirmed as the biggest capture of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf tour.
The Australian, who beat Cam Young and Rory McIlroy to The Open Championship, this summer leads a list of six new LIV golfers announced ahead of the breakaway tour’s next event, in Boston.
The 28-year-old’s switch from playing primarily on the PGA Tour was flagged on the same week that he captured the Claret Jug at the Old Course, in St Andrew’s. Not long after he became a major champion for the first time, a journalist quizzed him on the prospect of joining LIV Golf, leading to an angry response. Cameron Smith replied:
“I don’t know, mate. My team worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.
“I just won The Open, and you’re asking about that. I think that’s not good.”
Cameron Smith heads list of LIV Golf defections
Along with the confirmation of Cameron Smith, LIV Golf took to social media on Tuesday afternoon to announce Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III, Anirbahn Lahiri, Cam Tringale and Marc Leishmann were also coming on-board.
Rory McIlroy, who won $18m when he became the PGA Tour Champion for the third time, on Sunday, had called Smith just days after his Open triumph to try and give him the full picture, as he saw it, regarding LIV Golf. Mcllroy had been eager for Smith to stay on the PGA Tour but the Australian has opted to go to LIV, which is headed by his compatriot, Greg Norman (the chief executive).
Cam Young, who finished second to Smith at The Open, admitted, over the weekend, that he considered a switch to LIV but opted to stay with the PGA Tour after it announced a revamp with more ‘elevated events’ in the coming years.
Already on the LIV Golf tour are a host of major winners, young prospects and players with their best golfing days behind them.
Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed are some of the recognisable LIV names, along with Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson.
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