Cameron Smith spotted playing in Sawgrass — just not *that* Sawgrass

Cameron Smith smile

As a LIV golfer, Cameron Smith — a Ponte Vedra Beach local — is barred from defending his Players title.

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In a recent interview with GOLF’s Josh Sens, Cameron Smith expressed disappointment that, as a LIV golfer, he’s banned from defending his Players Championship title at TPC Sawgrass this week.

“It stings a bit,” he said. “But with my decision to come over to LIV, that was one of the things I had to give up, and I’m at ease with it.”

Smith actually lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., home of TPC Sawgrass, and mentioned that he might go to the tournament and watch the action.

Cameron Smith
‘It stings a bit’: Cameron Smith opens up on being barred from defending Players title
By: Josh Sens

“I’d love to get out there [as a spectator],” he said. “I don’t know how it would be received. But going out there and walking around in the crowd might be pretty funny.”

As it turns out, on Thursday, Smith did make an appearance at Sawgrass — just not at the course at which the Tour is playing.

According to Golfweek, Smith posed for pictures and played with friends at The Yards, a publicly-accessible nine-hole course and six-hole “Beer Loop” less than two miles north of TPC Sawgrass.

The Yards opened in 2020 and lists its nine-hole green fee at $40. Like TPC Scottsdale, it’s part of the Sawgrass Players Club — a collection of recreational facilities and amenities for the 16 neighborhoods that comprise the area’s homeowners’ Master Association.

Smith’s last tournament on the PGA Tour was the Tour Championship, where he placed 20th. He made the jump to LIV soon after, effectively forfeiting his right to play this year’s Players Championship, given all LIV golfers have been banned from the PGA Tour.

“It’s awkward,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said on Tuesday of Smith’s absence. “But, you know, ultimately that’s a decision he made.”

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.

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