- The 29-year-old world number two joins the LIV Golf Tour and will be seen competing in the next competition to be held in Boston.
- The Saudi-backed circuit is being organised by two-time major champion Greg Norman.
- Eight LIV competitions are scheduled for this year which will expand to 14 from 2023.
Open champion Cameron Smith claims that having money helped him join the Saudi Arabian-funded LIV Golf series at the top of the rankings. The next LIV competition in Boston will undoubtedly feature the 29-year-old world number two.
After winning The Open at St. Andrews in July—his first principal—Smith refused to discuss his future. From September 2-4, the Australian will compete alongside Joaquin Niemann of Chile, now ranked 19th in the world.
Smith explained to Golf Digest that one of the incentives for abandoning the PGA Tour was the guaranteed compensation offered for competing in the LIV series.
The Players Championship, the PGA Tour’s marquee event, and the Sentry Tournament of Champions were three of his crucial victories this year.
The mullet-sporting Smith, who has made $27 million during his eight years on the road, maintains that the option to spend up to three months a year in Australia was more appealing than money. LIV Golf’s offseason is anticipated to continue from late October, when its final event in Miami for 2022 is scheduled, until mid-February 2023.
In the 48-person field in Massachusetts for the fourth LIV competition of its first season, Smith and Niemann, both 23 years old, are among the six fresh faces competing.
They include Anirban Lahiri, the top-ranked professional from India, 35; Harold Varner III, 32; Cameron Tringale, 35; and Marc Leishman, 38, of Australia, who finished second in 2015 Open at St. Andrews. Even though the DP World Tour has temporarily reduced suspensions for LIV Golf participants, players that compete in the LIV series are now prohibited from participating in PGA Tour tournaments.
Niemann, who held the position of top amateur for over a year, won his first PGA Tour championship in February when he won the Genesis International in California by a whole stroke.
The Saudi-backed circuit, organised by two-time major champion Greg Norman, has attracted players from the United States, including Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Patrick Reed.
The most recent withdrawals, which come one week after the PGA Tour held a summit of its top players, including Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, to assess the danger posed by the LIV series, will heighten the tension in the game.
McIlroy has been outspoken in his support of the PGA Tour, stating that it would be “difficult to stomach” competing against LIV Golf pros at the BMW PGA Championship, the premier DP World Tour competition beginning on September 8 at Wentworth.
Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, and Ian Poulter, all of whom have signed contracts with LIV Golf, are anticipated to compete at the BMW PGA.
Eight LIV competitions are scheduled for this year, with competitions previously held at Donald Trump’s Bedminster course in New Jersey, the Centurion Club in northern England, and the Portland, Oregon, location.
A 14-tournament LIV Golf league will debut in 2023 as part of expansion plans. The tournament’s dates and locations for the next year have not yet been revealed.