The Open Champion and world no. 2 is set to join the Saudi-backed Liv Golf event following the conclusion of the 2022 season of PGA Tour.
Liv Golf is a professional golf tour that held its inaugural season in 2022. Headed by former world no. 1 Greg Norman, it operates as a direct rival to the PGA Tour. Since the establishment, it has acquired many prominent golfers from the PGA Tour, despite the PGA’s repeated threats of sanction of anyone who opts to play in the controversial tour.
Upon the end of the 2022 PGA season, it was speculated that a new set of players would defect to the newly formed tour. Staying true to the expectation, six new players have signed up with it and are set to tee off in their next event in Boston.
The biggest name among the six is Cameron Smith. Smith is at the peak of his career. Currently ranked 2nd in the world, he won his maiden major trophy just two months ago in the 2022 Open Championship. Despite such success in the PGA Tour, Smith has decided to join Liv Golf with a massive deal of $140 million.
Smith joining Liv Golf has been an open secret for quite a while now. Yet, the defection of one of the best players on the tour has upset a lot of mainstream golf fans. Smith, however, does not regret his choice and explained his reasoning for the decision. “(Money) was definitely a factor in making that decision, I won’t ignore that or say that wasn’t a reason,” stated the 29 year old in a phone call with Golf Digest. “The biggest thing for me joining is that the schedule is really appealing. I’ll be able to spend more time at home in Australia.”
— LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) August 30, 2022
The CEO of Liv Golf, Greg Norman is ecstatic to have Smith on the team. “The best and the brightest continue to embrace the excitement and energy of LIV Golf,” said Norman. We can’t wait to tee off this week at The International and deliver another memorable event experience for fans.”
The five others to join Liv Golf, along with Cameron Smith, are World No.1 9 Joaquin Niemann, World No. 46 Harold Varner III, World No.55 Cameron Tringale, World No. 62 Marc Leishman and World No. 92 Anirban Lahiri.
All six of them are confirmed to play in the upcoming Liv Golf tournament in Boston starting on the 4th of September.