LIV series; Cameron Smiths wants PGA Tour event in Australia, news, updates, Greg Norman
Australia’s world number 6 Cameron Smith has urged the PGA Tour to hold an event in Australia as the escalating war with Greg Norman’s LIV Golf continues to plague this week’s US Open intro.
Smith continually walked away from the growing divide between players who stayed and those who took the megabucks on offer.
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It’s a situation that PGA Champion Justin Thomas called ‘sad’ this week and which Rory McIlroy said left some players feeling ‘offended’ after others reneged on their original commitment to the PGA Tour to join Norman.
Two-time US Open champion Brooks Koepka said all talk about LIV was creating a “dark cloud” over the second major of the year as reports suggested the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tower, could line up with LIV somehow.
But amid rumors Norman’s controversial new venture may consider adding an Australian event in Melbourne to its future schedule, Smith said the PGA Tour could beat them.
Unable to return home to play since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Smith urged officials to put Australia squarely in their thoughts.
“I would love for the PGA Tour to come down (to Australia) and play golf,” Smith said at the Country Club of Massachusetts.
“It’s something that I personally haven’t been able to do for a few years because of Covid.
“I miss home and I’m sure all the fans at home miss seeing world-class golf.”
Golf Channel analyst and former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley says Australia could play a pivotal role for the PGA Tour in the game’s growth, something LIV stars said was a motivation key to their defection.
“You talk about developing the game. Say you want to go international or you want to talk to Alaksa about it for the sake of discussion,” he said.
“Let’s send Jon Rahm up there, send Rory McIlroy up there, send Justin Thomas
Up there. Let’s send them there under a contract where they get paid a lot of money to promote the game in that region.
“Then we can take that and bring it to Australia.
“Australia is the most beautiful country to play golf. If you’ve ever been there, these courses in Melbourne and Sydney are just amazing.
“Imagine if the best players on the tour stepped up to play the Australian Open under the PGA Tour contract, wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an event there?
“You talk about developing the game, that’s an idea of how we can develop the game.
“It’s interesting to see if there’s a shift towards that pattern as we navigate through this turmoil.”
Smith, meanwhile, said he was happy to avoid being caught up in discussions about the impact of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf amid accusations of the events, where a price of more than 30 million dollars is offered, being an attempt to “sportswash” Saudi Arabia’s horrendous human rights record.
“My focus this week is to play golf,” Smith said.
“I’m far from the smartest person in the room and I’m not a politician. I’m here to follow a white golf ball and see what it does.
“Everyone answered the question (about LIV) differently. But my goal is just to be here and play good golf.
The 28-year-old from Brisbane proved to be a big event player, claiming victory in the Players Championship earlier this year, which he and other players are calling the fifth major.
Smith also has three top-five finishes over the last five Masters, including a second effort in 2020. In the first two majors this year, he finished third in Augusta and finished tied for 13th in the PGA Championship. last month in Southern Hills. .
It’s a trajectory he wants to keep rising at the US Open, an event in which his best finish was a share of fourth on his 2015 debut at Chambers Bay where he announced himself to the world of tennis. golf.
“I love majors. I feel like they bring out the best in me,” Smith said.
“I like the demand for a good game and just getting good scores. I feel like I’ve had a bit of success at the US Open already. I feel like it’s is a very good place for me.
“I’d like to think my game has progressed to where I can compete on most golf courses.”
Smith, one of seven Australians in the US Open field, plays world No. 1 and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Koepka in the first round, an indication of his new position in the world order.
It’s a position Smith has noticed and appreciates as he plots a course to win his first major.
“There’s also a bit of a different vibe on the golf course towards me,” Smith said.
“Maybe a few more people cheer me on, which is good. It’s something I’m still getting used to, but I like it.”
The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts
Aussie rd 1 departure times:
9:29 p.m. – Adam ScottJordan Spieth, Max Homa
10:02 p.m. – Marc LeishmanKeegan Bradley, Aaron Wise
2h30 – Jed MorganTaylor Montgomery, Sean Crocker
3h25 – Min Woo LeeSeamus Power, Joo Hyung Kim
3h25 – Cameron SmithBrooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler
4:09 – Lucas HerbertEnglish Harris, Jason Kokrak
4h21 – Todd SinottJonas Blixt, Bo Hoag