Veterans Padraig Harrington and Matt Kuchar each shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to share the early lead with MJ Daffue and Roberto Diaz in the weather-delayed first round of the Valero Texas Open.
Smith out of BMW Championship with hip injury
Cameron Smith, the No. 2-ranked player in the world, has pulled out of this week’s BMW Championship because of a lingering hip injury, according to his agent, Bud Martin.
In the statement, Martin indicated that Smith’s decision to not compete in the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware didn’t mean he wasn’t planning to play in the season-ending Tour Championship, scheduled for Aug. 25-28 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
“He has been dealing with some on and off hip discomfort for several months and thought it best he rest this week in his pursuit of the FedEx Cup,” Martin said in the statement.
Smith is third in the FedEx Cup points standings, so he is in great position to advance to the Tour Championship, regardless of whether he plays in the BMW Championship.
The news comes one day after Smith was assessed a two-stroke penalty before the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. The rules violation occurred in the third round of the tournament on Saturday, when Smith played his ball from an improper spot on the par-3 fourth hole. At least part of the ball was sitting on the red penalty-area line.
PGA Tour officials didn’t assess Smith the penalty until shortly before his final round on Sunday. The penalty dropped him four spots behind leader J.J. Spaun to start the round. Smith shot even-par 70 and tied for 13th at 9 under.
Last week, The Telegraph of London reported that Smith is set to join the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series for a guaranteed contract worth more than $100 million. Smith, who won the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews in July, dodged questions about the report during a news conference in Memphis.