What does Tiger's silence say about PGA Tour/LIV deal? Cam Smith: 'Oh, geez!'

Cameron Smith refused to be drawn into speculating about Tiger Woods' silence over the PGA Tour's deal with LIV Golf's backers. 

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Fri, 7 Jul 2023
What does Tiger's silence say about PGA Tour/LIV deal? Cam Smith: 'Oh, geez!'

Cameron Smith refused to speculate on what Tiger Woods thinks of the PGA Tour's deal with LIV Golf's backers in the immediate aftermath of taking the first round lead at the breakaway tour's event just outside of London. 

Smith put together an impressive streak of birdies at Centurion Club on Friday, carding an 8-under 63. 

He played alongside Swede Henrik Stenson and South African Louis Oosthuizen. He started on the first hole in the shotgun start, 54-hole tournament. 

Reigning Open champion Smith turned in 1-under but went birdie crazy on the back nine, picking up strokes on 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 17. 

The tournament is being played on what could be described as LIV Golf's one-year anniversary. 

Smith didn't play in the inaugural rival league event as he was still a member of the PGA Tour

It was in August when the worst kept secret in men's professional golf was out of the bag as Smith penned what has been reported as a $100m deal with LIV Golf. 

Things have changed considerably since then and it given what has transpired it wouldn't be foolish to suggest there might be another stunning development before the 29-year-old attempts to defend the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool. 

But one person we haven't heard from is 47-year-old Woods, who will also miss the 151st Open Championship as he recovers from yet more surgery. 

It has been suggested that Woods' silence is deafening, but Smith believes if the big cat had something to say he would say it. 

What does his silence suggest Woods is thinking, Smith was asked. 

He replied:

"Oh, geez, I don't even know. I think if he had something to say, he'd say it for sure. I don't think he's holding anything back.
"Just probably like all of us, just waiting for a few more answers."

Woods would have no doubt been a bit stunned to see a close ally of his - Indian billionaire Dr Pawan Munjal - play alongside Phil Mickelson in the LIV Golf pro-am earlier in the week. 

Could Dr Munjal become the first billionaire to purchase a LIV Golf team as a franchise? Who knows. 

As for Smith, he previously spoke of how he believed his Open win was overshadowed somewhat by speculation about his future. 

"I definitely don't think leading into the tournament it was really that big of a topic [the speculation]," he said. 

He added: 

"I think it was more kind of after, and those two or three days after it was frustrating to kind of take.
"But I feel good. Look what we've got here. It's another good venue, another good crowd. The English fans are so much fun today. I loved it.
"I feel good. I don't think there's going to be anything there. I've seen a bunch of the boys the last three majors, and yeah, it's been nice."

More from LIV Golf London:

By day's end Smith held a one-stroke lead over fellow Australian Marc Leishman (64). 

Belgian Thomas Pieters posted a 66 whereas Talor Gooch continued his hot form by posting a 67. 

Gooch - who doesn't want his Ryder Cup dreams dashed by his association with LIV - is looking for his fourth win of the 2023 campaign. 

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