Open champion Cameron Smith, the world No 2, has again refused to deny reports that he has agreed to join the LIV rebel golf tour on a reported AU$143 million deal.
Fellow Australian pro Cameron Percy told Melbourne’s RSN radio network on Tuesday that Smith and countryman Marc Leishman have agreed to join the controversial Saudi-backed series fronted by Australian golf icon Greg Norman.
Meanwhile, the London Telegraph is reporting that Smith, also the reigning champion at the Players Championship, flagship event of the PGA Tour, will make his LIV Tour debut in Boston next month. The Telegraph report claims confirmation of his switch is expected after the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs this week in Memphis.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the FedExCup St Jude Championship, the man with the most famous mullet in sport again refused to rule out reports he will become the most high-profile defection to LIV. “My goal here is to win the FedEx Cup play-offs,” said the 28-year-old Queenslander. “That’s all I’m here for.
“If there’s something I need to say regarding the PGA Tour or LIV, it will come from Cameron Smith, not Cameron Percy,” Smith added. “I’m a man of my word and whenever you guys need to know anything it will be said by me.
“Like I said, I’m here to play the FedEx Cup play-offs. That’s been my focus the last week and a half, that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to win the FedEx Cup play-offs.”
However, in a twist, Smith confirmed he intended to play next month in the President’s Cup in Charlotte, North Carolina which suggests a move to the LIV series is not as imminent as the Telegraph’s speculation suggests. If Smith did join the LIV tour, he would be banned from the Presidents Cup, a PGA Tour event.
“That’s something that we’ve been looking forward to for the last three years,” Smith told reporters of playing on the International Team in the Presidents Cup. “We missed a year because of Covid and that’s something that I look forward to being a part of.”
Since his stunning Open victory at St Andrews in July, when he overturned a four-shot deficit with a final round of 64, finishing 20 under par to beat Tiger Woods’ 22-year-old record, Smith has refused to confirm or deny reports linking him to LIV. If he does defect Smith would be the rival tour’s highest-ranked player, which has already signed Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia.
Percy, the 48-year PGA player from Victoria, told RSN radio on Tuesday that Smith and Leishman were “gone”. Percy clarified his remarks in a tweet the next day saying: “I was on the radio yesterday in Australia and l said it doesn’t look good for Leish and Cam going to LIV. My source is talking amongst other players. Not Cam and Leish.”