New $140m LIV Golf Tour signing Cameron Smith says OWGR situation "unfair"

Cameron Smith has spoken to the media for the first time since joining up with "idol" Greg Norman in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

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Wed, 31 Aug 2022
New $140m LIV Golf Tour signing Cameron Smith says OWGR situation "unfair"

Cameron Smith admitted there "wasn't anything" the PGA Tour could have done to convince him to stay as he faced the media for the first time following his $140m switch to the LIV Golf Invitational Series. 

Smith, 28, confirmed that he started negotiations with the LIV Golf Tour two months before he won the 150th Open Championship. He claimed he "didn't see" their first offer but his team then struck a deal shortly thereafter. 

The Aussie claimed he felt it was "a shame" that LIV Golf is not currently eligible for world ranking points but hopes that situation will be resolved before his exemptions are up. Currently, Smith is no longer eligible for the Presidents Cup. He says he is still willing to play. 

His new LIV Golf team mate, Marc Leishman, explained that if it was truly an "International Team" then it should welcome LIV Golf players. 

Smith also said:

  • He hasn't resigned his PGA Tour membership
  • He believes LIV Golf is "the future" 
  • He had a private meeting with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan where he talked about the decision
  • He spoke to LIV Golf chief executive and "idol" Greg Norman several times before making his mind up 

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Smith was asked if this was first and foremost a "business decision". Harold Varner III, who like Smith is a new signee, drew praise after confirming he had left the PGA Tour because of the money. 

Anirban Lahiri, also a new LIV signee, claimed that "loneliness" played a huge part in his decision to leave the PGA Tour.

The Open champion claimed there was more to it than that. 

He said: "Yes, I think it was a business decision but like Marc [Leishman] said, there's so many positives to come out of this thing.

"For me, I haven't been back in Australia for three years, as well. To spend more time at home, not missing out on friend and families' weddings and a couple of my friends have had kids over the last, you know, four or five years that I still haven't met.

"That's going to be a part of my life that I can't wait to get back." 

Analysts have previously suggested that the real battle is not the ongoing antitrust lawsuit that LIV Golf have launched against the PGA Tour, but whether or not the Saudi-funded circuit will get Official World Golf Ranking accreditation. 

Smith said of this: "Yeah, I think it's really a shame that we are not getting world ranking points out here. To have 48 of the best, you know, guys around the world playing, and not to get world ranking points, I think is perhaps a little bit unfair.

"You know, it's still super competitive out here. I think, yeah, I just really think it's a little bit unfair." 

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