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GOLF - Cameron Smith - LIV Breakaway

edited July 2022 Sport

DM Reports....

New Open champion Cameron Smith will reportedly become the latest player to drop a bombshell on the golfing world by heading a list of six players set to become the latest recruits for the controversial LIV breakaway competition.

The Australian became the first player from his country to claim the famous Claret Jug since Greg Norman at Royal St George's in 1993, pipping Rory McIlroy to glory on Sunday.

His celebrations were soured, however, when he clashed with a British journalist about joining the rebel Saudi LIV tour just minutes after his stunning victory in St Andrews. 

Major players have and continue to be tempted away by the ludicrous sums of money on offer, with the breakaway being backed by $2billion of Saudi money and the total prize money pot across eight events amounting to around £205million

There has been a frenzy of speculation around Smith and others - including Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson and English star Tommy Fleetwood - about their desire to join up with the Saudi-backed LIV Series. 

And now a report has added to the mounting whirlwind by claiming Smith, 28, is set to follow up winning the most prestigious golf major by joining the breakaway tour headed by fellow Aussie Norman.

It claims he is set to be joined by another countryman in Marc Leishman.

Also among the fresh batch of rebels is Stenson, who is set to be stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy, just two months after he was announced as the skipper for the match against the US in Italy next year.

Stenson missed the cut at The Open by a single shot and would not be drawn on his future when asked about it on Friday, replying when asked about the makeup of his forthcoming schedule: 'Undecided.'

However, Swedish outlet Expressen claim the 2016 Open winner will arrive at Royal Troon on Monday, soon after which news is expected to follow that he will be the latest defector to LIV.

English star Tommy Fleetwood is also reportedly set to defect, after a report in The Times in June suggested his wife and manager, Clare Craig, was at the Centurion Club last month.

Double Masters winner Bubba Watson is also among the names being linked with the controversial LIV tour.

Meanwhile, The Mirror claim last year's Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama will finalise his future next month after being targeted by LIV Golf.

The Japanese is reportedly considering his options after being approached by the Saudi-backed breakaway.

But should the world No 14 sign up to the breakaway, he would join fellow European stars Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Martin Kaymer and record Cup points-scorer Sergio Garcia. 

Garcia confirmed on Sunday he will be formally resigning from the DP World Tour.

Those who have also signed up to the mega-money tour include six-times major champion Mickelson - who is reportedly being paid £160m alone - former World No 1s Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, earning £104m and £125m respectively to sign up, and former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, also making £104m.

But the lead name in the latest list is Smith, who shot a total of 268 across his four rounds to finish 20 under par - the lowest under par score a winner has finished in majors history and the lowest ever four-round score at St Andrews.

However, he clashed with a reporter who asked him about joining the rebel Saudi LIV tour by saying: 'I just won the British Open and you're asking about that? I think that's pretty, not that good.'

The breakaway series is backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) - the owners of Premier League outfit Newcastle United.

It has led to players facing criticism for taking part in the Saudi-backed tour due to the kingdom's dismal human rights record, while detractors have also labelled the competition as 'sportwashing'.


  • jumjum    3,518 posts
    This is really heating up now 
  • G-MacG-Mac    1,579 posts
    Classic Daily Mail. One quote in the entire article and it is Smith having a go at the journo. No quotes from anyone in a position to know what is actually happening. 

    H-BOMBER likes this post.

  • H-BOMBERH-BOMBER    10,299 posts
    All I'll say on the matter

    I don't mind players jumping because of the huge money. If someone is willing to pay up to 50 -100 times your "salary" then I mean you can't blame people going to the LIV "tour". We can all bang on about legacy and history etc etc but most of is will never get an opportunity like these blokes, so it's impossible to understand. Even if it is Saudi "blood money", the players don't care. I'm not familiar with the Newcastle United situation, did they receive the black lash the golfers are getting.

    What I don't agree on is the award of OWGR points for LIV events in their current format. You can't award OWGR for 54 hole events and heavily restricted fiield events, in my opinion. It must be comparable to other world tours. If the format changes then they have a case as Strength of Field metrics will determine the amount of points able to be awarded.

    The players taking the money now are getting a ton of heat but the reality is they are getting in now while they can as at some point, the field will be at a point where either they don't want anymore players or players will voluntarily want to join the LIV events.

    jum likes this post.

  • H-BOMBERH-BOMBER    10,299 posts
    It's interesting they've mentioned Stenson.

    The only reason he is being targeted is to disrupt the Ryder Cup, as Stenson is the current newly named captain of Europe. It's not because people want to watch him play regular tournament golf. LIV targeting Stenson is a game of chicken between them and whether the DP world tour/PGA tour buckle and let players play on The Ryder and Presidents cups. And Stenson needs the money, he basically lost everything in a Ponzi scheme years ago....
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