Cameron Smith May Not Be the Only Recent Major Winner Going to LIV Golf

It sounds as if the 28-year-old Australian is among many players who are about to jump ship from the PGA Tour

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green at The 150th Open
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan could be jumping ship from the PGA Tour.
Andrew Redington/Getty

Although nothing has been made official as of yet, a number of reports following the conclusion of the 150th Open at St. Andrews indicate that newly crowned tournament champion Cameron Smith is on the verge of defecting from the PGA Tour to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series for a payday in the range of $90 million.

Unfortunately for PGA Tour fans, it sounds as if the 28-year-old Australian is going to have major company.

Along with Smith, past major winners including Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson have all been “strongly linked” to LIV, according to The Palm Beach Post. Matsuyama (2021), Watson (2014, 2012) and Scott (2013) are former Masters champions.

Along with those big names, European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson is also expected to join the highly controversial breakaway series that is fronted by Greg Norman and bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). Marc Leishman, Smith’s Australian Olympic teammate, has also been linked to LIV.

Adding Smith, the second-ranked golfer in the world, would be a major coup for Norman and LIV as it would land the upstart series its first player ranked in the top 10. LIV Golf currently has 21 of the top 100 golfers in the world, including nine of the top 42. Dustin Johnson (16) and Abraham Ancer (20) are the lone LIV golfers in the top 20. Should Matsuyama (14) join up with LIV, he’d join those two (and potentially Smith) in the top 20.

“I just won the British Open, and you’re asking about that?” Smith told reporters after his win at The Open. “I think that’s pretty not that good. I don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”

If Smith makes the leap, the next tournament he may compete in will be an LIV event set to take place in New Jersey at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster at the end of July. Due to Saudi funding for the event, the tournament, which is set to take place from July 29 to 31, is being protested by members of the group 9/11 Justice. On Monday, the group sent a letter to Donald Trump asking him to cancel the event. He has not done so.

“As we have said all along, these families have our deepest sympathy,” LIV Golf said in a statement responding to the letter. “While some may not agree, we believe golf is a force for good around the world.”

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