Travis Smyth might not be one of the household names on LIV Golf but the Australian has admitted to receiving heavy backlash on social media ever since joining the Saudi-funded circuit this season.
Smyth, 27, has played in all three of the first LIV Golf Invitational Series events in England and the United States, and he intends to play in the remaining five tournaments on the rota this season.
Despite not finishing better than 22nd in each of the 48-man events, Smyth has accumulated $850,000, which is more than double his career earnings prior to joining LIV Golf.
He picked up $375,000 of that total from finishing second in the team event in the LIV Golf opener at Centurion Club.
What a couple weeks i’ve just had. Life changing for someone like me. So happy to be apart of the first @LIVGolfInv. Proud of my team mates who all contributed great rounds when we needed them. The world needs to get ready for this exciting new format.#CrushersGC @SharkGregNorman pic.twitter.com/hkZ4r8iHmL— Travis Smyth (@travsmythg) June 12, 2022
This "life-changing" moment for Smyth has been handed to him by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
LIV Golf has come under fire as a result of the country's human rights record.
Greg Norman's new golf league also came under heavy criticism last week for staging its latest Bedminster tournament just 50 miles from where the horrific 9/11 attacks happened in New York. It has since come to light that Saudi Arabia played a huge part in the atrocities that day.
Smyth, who only has one victory to his name as a pro coming at the 2017 Northern Territory PGA in his homeland, admits the abuse he has received from golf fans on Twitter in recent weeks has become "insane".
As much as i’d like to interact with everyone on twitter i’ll be switching off my comments to people i don’t follow. The amount of negative comments from strangers is insane.. FYI to the people who don’t know who i am, i’ll be just fine doing what i love without you knowing me— Travis Smyth (@travsmythg) August 1, 2022
"As much as I’d like to interact with everyone on Twitter, I’ll be switching off my comments to people I don’t follow," tweeted Smyth.
"The amount of negative comments from strangers is insane. FYI to the people who don’t know who I am, I’ll be just fine doing what I love without you knowing me."
At 429th in the world (and only going backwards given there are no OWGR points available for LIV Golf tournaments at least right now), it remains to be seen whether or not Smyth is still in the reckoning for the 48-man LIV Golf tournaments in 2023.
He is trying his best to stay on board, though.
Golf journalist/anti LIV fans: Huge colt of negativity towards LIV— Travis Smyth (@travsmythg) August 2, 2022
LIV Golf/players: Happier than ever and full of excitement
Whilst the naysayers try their best to ruin it with their articles and saudi questions LIV golf will just continue to grow.
It’s just the beginning
He further tweeted: "Golf journalist/anti LIV fans: Huge colt of negativity towards LIV.
"LIV Golf/players: Happier than ever and full of excitement.
"Whilst the naysayers try their best to ruin it with their articles and Saudi questions, LIV Golf will just continue to grow.
"It's just the beginning."
Norman says his phone has been off the hook since setting up LIV Golf with a number of the world's top 40 player agents calling him up to be involved in the new golf league.