PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan admits "it's awkward" that LIV Golf's Cameron Smith is not able to return to defend The Players Championship.
Monahan fielded a number of different questions with the media ahead of the flagship PGA Tour event of the season, one of which included whether or not they had copied LIV Golf over their new no cut, limited-field Designated Events set for 2024.
But it was the subject of 2022 Players champion Smith being absent in his title defence that left Monahan most red-faced, especially after proudly stating last March that the Australian will always "receive a hero's welcome" at famed TPC Sawgrass.
Ouch! This hasn’t aged well pic.twitter.com/JGK7FzHpAH— Rob Williamson (@YettyGolf) March 7, 2023
Those comments appear to have come back and bitten him in the backside as one of the PGA's brightest stars bolted for LIV Golf in a huge money move soon after he etching his name on the Claret Jug at the 150th Open Championship.
Smith's parking space at the venue was this week removed in what was perceived as a cheap and petty dig.
Still, Smith, who now lives nearby to TPC Sawgrass, has seen the funny side of it all and even stated he might turn up anyway as a spectator.
Should Cameron Smith have been invited back to defend The Players this week, despite his new ties to LIV Golf?
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Should LIV Golf's Cameron Smith be in the field to defend The Players this week?— GolfMagic (@GolfMagic) March 8, 2023