As the According to the Telegraph, Cameron Smith, the No. 2 player in the world and reigning Open Championship winner, could be headed to LIV Golf after the FedEx Cup Playoffs and may play in LIV's Boston event at the beginning of September after signing a contract worth over $100 million.in Northern California on Tuesday, LIV may have scored another victory on the other side of the country.
When he was asked about the rumors at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis on Tuesday, a tournament he nearly won a year ago, Smith refused to engage the question. He instead attempted to bring the focus back to the event at hand as the FedEx Cup Playoffs get underway. He also addressed fellow Australian Cameron Percy, who recently (and casually) said on the Golf Gambling Podcast that Smith was "gone, unfortunately" to LIV.
"My goal here is to win the FedEx Cup Playoffs," said Smith. "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. I'm a man of my word, and whenever you guys need to know anything, it'll be said by me."
When he was pressed on the report that he has signed with LIV Golf for nine figures, he again deferred to the tournament this week.
"I have no comment to that," said Smith. "Like I said, I'm here to play the FedEx Cup Playoffs. 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 Playoffs. And like I said, it will come from me, it won't come from Cameron Percy."
The report from the Telegraph notes that Smith's value skyrocketed after winning The Open at St. Andrews, leading to the report of a contract for over $100 million. Smith has earned $9.8 million on the PGA Tour this year.
LIV refused to comment but Greg Norman, the architect and chief executive of the series, is understood to have reached an advanced stage with Smith prior to the Open. He will almost certainly have commanded a bigger fee since, having been initially offered around $100 million.
A formal announcement is not expected until the three-week FedEx Cup play-off series has finished, Smith reaffirmed his commitment to it last month and is in the field in Memphis for Thursday. Smith, who is second on the FedEx standings and one of the favourites to land the $18million title, could heap major embarrassment on the PGA if he secures the biggest cheque in golf before announcing his defection.
Rumors flew about Smith fleeing the PGA Tour during The Open at St. Andrews last month. His name was linked to the PGA Tour's rival in nearly every conversation, which means nothing, of course, but was certainly interesting as a topic of conversation throughout the week. When he was asked about the rumors in his post-tournament presser with the Claret Jug sitting next to him, Smith was mildly combative.
"I just won the British Open, and you're asking about that," he said at the time. "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."
Smith enters the FedEx Cup Playoffs No. 2 in points. He's ranked just behind Scottie Scheffler in both the FedEx Cup race as well as the Official World Golf Rankings, and is very much alive for the $18 million first prize at the Tour Championship at East Lake in three weeks.
LIV Golf will host two tournaments in September. The first one in Boston from Sept. 2-4 and the second in Chicago from Sept. 16-18.
Smith is currently eligible for the International Presidents Cup team but would likely not be if he moves to LIV Golf as the Presidents Cup is run by the PGA Tour. The Open Championship winner and also took down this year's Player's Championship in March, the PGA Tour's flagship event. With a strong next three weeks, it's feasible that he could end up winning the PGA Tour Player of the Year.