Cameron Smith doubles down on claim 18 months after joining LIV Golf for $120m

Cameron Smith has opened up on why joining LIV Golf for $120m is the best decision he has ever made ahead of breakaway tour's Las Vegas stop.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 8 Feb 2024
Cameron Smith doubles down on claim 18 months after joining LIV Golf for $120m

Cameron Smith says joining LIV Golf 18 months ago for a reported $120m is still the best decision he ever made. 

Smith, 30, became one of the first high-profile players to join the breakaway after having his best year ever on the PGA Tour in 2022. 

The Australian won three times, including the coveted Players Championship in thrilling fashion. 

Of course, the jewel in the crown came when Smith surged past Rory McIlroy and Cameron Young to claim the landmark 150th Open at St. Andrews.

At the time, Smith was as high as No.2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He's now dropped to 35. 

To many, the fact he would even entertain LIV's advances was staggering given he had made - and was likely to make - plenty of money anyhow. 

Why would he risk his Presidents Cup future? Why would he risk the opportunity to represent Australia in the Olympics? What about the majors? 

Smith, like many before and after him, made no secret the move was primarily about the up-front cash. 

But he also trumpeted the line he wanted to spend less time playing golf and more time relaxing with pals and family back home. 

And he still contends this is a major reason why he made the leap in the first place. 

For the first time since 2013, he's had a two-and-half-month break from professional golf, he told the DailyMail

"Oh, mate, just hanging out with friends and family, going down to the pub, having a couple of beers is really all that makes me happy," he said.

"Playing golf with even some old members at the golf club that I grew up at, seeing the course - all that stuff, it just puts a smile to my face."

Smith said he had in previous years he would've felt guilty not picking up a club. 

Going forward, questions still remain about what the world of men's professional golf will ultimately look like. 

The PGA Tour recently agreed a $3bn private equity deal with Strategic Sports Group. 

Officials at the North American circuit insist the door for an investment opportunity remains ajar for LIV's Saudi financiers. 

Should that happen, it would likely result in the end of the protracted schism between the circuits. 

How did Smith view the PGA Tour-SSG deal? 

Smith said: "I haven't really kept an eye on that side. All of us here, we're just trying to make this tour the best that we can."

"I want to help in any way I can"

LIV players are still without OWGR accreditation and the topic has been in the headlines once again given Wyndham Clark received full points for his 54-hole victory at Pebble Beach. 

Fellow LIV player Carlos Ortiz has contended the breakaway tour players were told they were definitely going to receive points before the joined. 

Pressed on the topic, Smith said: "I want to help in any way I can. There's a lot of people out here that work for LIV (and) are a lot smarter than me to figure out those decisions, to write the right emails or letters."

Going forward, though, Smith is sure what the future will hold. 

At least for him. 

"I'm so happy... [there's] 14 events out here, four majors, a couple of events at home where I can give back to the fans there, and that's me."

Read more: