Cameron Smith has revealed how Rory McIlroy phoned him just days after he won the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, urging him to remain on the PGA Tour instead of jumping ship to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour, according to an interview with Sydney Morning Herald.
Smith, 29, had been heavily linked with a move to LIV Golf all summer, and the rumour intensified further when the Australian was asked about it all just minutes after etching his name on the famous Claret Jug this July.
"I just won the British Open, and you’re asking about that [a potential move to LIV Golf]. I think that’s pretty not that good," replied Smith at the time.
The LIV Golf question everyone is tweeting about. Cam Smith with the death shot "i think thats... pretty, not that good" pic.twitter.com/Jn5FGtOUSf— Let's Get Topical (@LGTopical) July 17, 2022
The figure of Smith's deal was estimated to have been in the region of $125-150 million.
But in an exclusive interview with Sydney Morning Herald this week, Smith explained how he certainly hadn't made a concrete decision on leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf during the week of The Open Championship.
LIV Golf was always the front runner, though.
A call from McIlroy, who finished third behind Smith at The Open that week, certainly complicated things further.
At least for a short while.
Of the phone call with McIlroy, the Australian said:
After the call with the current World No.1 player in the world, and others, Smith admitted he was having restless nights as he continued to mull over his decision.
Smith eventually made an official decision to join LIV Golf a month later at the end of August with a host of other players coming from the PGA Tour.
Although Telegraph Sport confirmed Smith's deal a few weeks previous.
Smith wasted little time in proving his class on the Saudi-bankrolled tour as he took the LIV Golf Chicago tournament by three strokes in September.
His Punch GC team finished second in the season-ending LIV Golf Team Championship behind Dustin Johnson's 4 Aces GC.
Smith was speaking to Sydney Morning Herald ahead of returning home to compete in the Australian PGA and Australian Open over the next couple of weeks.
No Australian tournaments on the PGA Tour, despite a large presence of Australian players on the circuit, was one Smith's biggest frustrations about the PGA Tour.
Smith explained further to SMH: