Cameron Smith jumps into the LIV Golf Series, won’t defend the players’ title

First Coast’s PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events will not have their defending champions on the field the next time they play.

By an official decision Champion Players and Ponte Vedra Beach Resident Cameron Smith On Tuesday to sign a contract with LIV Golf Series, the Australian is supposed to be suspended by the PGA Tour along with any other member who has played at the LIV Golf event when he follows it up later this week in Boston.

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The tour said the suspension was because players, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, did not receive the version required to play at an event outside of the PGA Tour.

Leaf Golf, funded by Saudi Investment Fund, Attract players by offering a total purse of $255 million for eight unspecified 54-hole events this year. The average purse was $20 million, with $4 million for the winner.

Smith earned $3.6 million for winning The Players, the richest prize in professional golf before the start of the LIV Series.

LIV Golf plans to expand to 14 championships next year and more in 2024. There are two tournaments scheduled in the US this month, with another near Chicago to follow this week’s event.

Smith won the Players title last March in dramatic fashion, firing 66 closes and saving a bogey on the last hole to defeat Anirban Lahiri One shot.

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Speaking of Lahiri – he’s gone too. The #1 player from India has joined Smith in joining LIV Golf, along with the former First Coast resident Harold Varner III, Smith native Mark Leishman, Chilean Joaquin Neiman and Cameron Triangle.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The PGA Tour is currently trying to force the disclosure of LIV Golf contracts in the initial legal moves to defend Antitrust suit It is brought in by seven former members of the tour who now play with LIV Golf.

Smith joins Phil Mickelson As First Coast event champions who will not be defending their titles. Mickelson won the Furyk & Friends Champions Tour title last year at Timuquana Country Club but went with LIV on the first wave of signings for PGA Tour players in June.

Last week, when PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan was asked if any player who went to LIV Golf could return to the PGA Tour, he gave the shortest answer possible: “No.”

Smith’s loss to the LIV Golf Series was the PGA Tour’s biggest blow to date. Tour supporters were able to argue up to this point that all of its former members who went to LIV Golf were past their prime (Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Johnson), critics (DeChambeau Reed), or list B players (Charles) Howell III, Talor Gooch , Hudson Swafford).

Smith, however, is 29 years old, was the first player since Jack Nicklaus to win The Players and British Open titles in the same year, was third on the FedEx Cup points list entering the second week of qualifying, and ranked second in the world behind Scotty Scheffler.

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Smith’s departure has been ridiculous ever since Won the Open Championship At St Andrews in July, it came without comment by LIV Golf. The speculation is that he will sign a deal for around $100 million.

He’s earned just over $27 million on the PGA Tour.

when it was Accessed by Golf Digest, Smith stated the obvious.

“[Money] It was definitely a factor in making that decision, I wouldn’t ignore that or say that wasn’t a reason,” Smith said. “It was clearly a business decision for someone and a show that I can’t ignore.”

Smith also indicated that he could spend more time in his home country by playing less in the LIV series.

“The most important thing for me is to join [LIV’s] “The schedule is really attractive,” Smith said. “I’ll be able to spend more time at home in Australia and maybe even have an event there too. I couldn’t do that and get that part of my life back was really attractive.

“I’ve lived here for seven years now, and I love living in the States,” he said, “but just the little things like lost friends’ weddings and birthday parties and seeing your mates have a great time at rugby league matches have been tough.” .

Smith and Leishman each won six competitions on the PGA Tour and Niemann won two. Varner, Lahiri, and Triangle have never won the PGA Tour and Tringle bears a dubious mark: he’s made more money (just over $17.4 million) than any player in the history of the non-win PGA Tour.

Varner, Lahiri, and Tringale started a combined tour of 692 PGA’s and earnings of over $37 million.

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LIV Golf will feature six of the top 30 players in the world golf rankings when it plays at the International Course this weekend in Bolton, Massachusetts.

Smith’s commentary will continue in The Players’ Non-Recurring Series. He is also the fifth Champion player to join LIV Golf, along with Mickelson, Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson.

Golfweek.com contributed to this report.

Connect with Garry Smits at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @GSmitter

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