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Focused on FedEx Cup, Smith sidesteps LIV talk
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Despite published reports that indicate he is leaving the PGA Tour for the rival LIV Golf circuit, Australia’s Cameron Smith said on Tuesday that he’s preparing to win the FedEx Cup Playoffs and is a “man of his word.”
Smith, the No. 2-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking after winning last month’s Open Championship at St. Andrews, has been linked to the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf circuit for several weeks.
The Telegraph of London reported on Tuesday that LIV Golf had reached a deal of more than $100 million to secure Smith. That report came after PGA Tour player Cameron Percy told an Australian radio station that Smith and Marc Leishman were joining LIV Golf.
During a tense news conference at TPC Southwind on Tuesday, Smith declined to address the reports that he would soon become the highest-ranked player to join the LIV Golf circuit, which is being fronted by Australian Greg Norman.
“My goal here is to win the FedExCup Playoffs,” Smith said. “That’s all I’m here for. 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 (reporters) need to know anything, it’ll be said by me.”
Smith, 28, is a six-time winner on the PGA Tour. He also claimed The Players Championship in March, winning $3.6 million, the largest winner’s purse in PGA Tour history. He has earned more than $9.8 million in 16 starts this season.
The Telegraph reported that Smith is expected to make his LIV Golf debut in Boston on Sept. 2-4. But Smith said on Tuesday that he planned to play in the Presidents Cup, scheduled for Sept. 19-25 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Absolutely, yeah,” Smith said of playing in the Presidents Cup. “That’s something that we’ve been looking forward to for the last three years. We missed a year because of COVID and that’s something that I look forward to being a part of.”
The PGA Tour organizes the Presidents Cup, and Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has suspended Tour members who appear in LIV events without conflicting-event releases.