The PGA Tour’s flagship FedEx Cup Playoffs kick off this week in Memphis, but once again the upstart Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour is casting its shadow over the proceedings. This time, the focus is Cameron Smith.
The 28-year-old Australian star made a name for himself this year with wins at the Players Championship and, most recently, the Open Championship at storied St. Andrews, the first major win of his career.
The report comes days after fellow Australian pro Cameron Percy broke the news of Smith’s departure, along with Marc Leishman, on the RSN podcast, saying, “Unfortunate, yeah, they’re gone.”
On Tuesday in his pre-tournament press conference at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the Playoffs, Smith refused to confirm or deny his imminent departure for LIV.
“My goal here is to win the FedExCup Playoffs. That’s all I’m here for,” Smith said, before taking a shot at Percy. “If there’s something I need to say regarding the PGA Tour or LIV, it will come from Cameron Smith, not Cameron Percy. I’m a man of my word and whenever you guys need to know anything, it’ll be said by me.”
Reporters continued to press the issue, and Smith continued to stonewall them.
“I have no comment to that. Like I said, I’m here to play the FedExCup Playoffs. That’s been my focus the last week and a half, that’s what I’m here to do, I’m here to win the FedExCup Playoffs. And like I said, it will come from me, it won’t come from Cameron Percy.”
According to the Telegraph, LIV CEO Greg Norman envisions an all-Australian LIV team, and Smith will make his LIV debut in Boston in early September.
If that report is true, Smith would still be able to play the entire three-event FedEx Cup Playoffs, unlike players who have officially joined LIV and, as a result, have been banned by the PGA Tour.
If Smith had confirmed his deal with LIV, he would have been banned as well and restricted from competing in the playoffs. Instead, Smith could conceivably still win the PGA Tour’s $18 million grand prize this month before leaving the Tour for good. And, currently ranked No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, he has a better chance than most.