Aussie golf superstar Cam Smith hits back at critics of his $140 million bombshell LIV violation, saying Rebel series is the sport’s future and the PGA Tour needs to be ‘rioted’
- Cameron Smith says LIV Golf is the sport’s future if he hits back after the switch
- The Queenslander thinks the PGA Tour should be ‘stirred up’
- Smith revealed many players and PGA commissioner tried to change his mind
Cameron Smith has stated that Greg Norman’s LIV golf series is the future of the sport and that the PGA Tour needs to be “excited” as he criticizes his stunning move to the Rebel Tour.
For the first time since he defected to the Rebel series, the world No. 2 Queenslander has defended his $140 million move to the widely condemned Saudi-backed venture.
Smith said it was “unfair” for players who jump ship to be banned from major championships as he spoke out at the LIV Invitational event in Boston, Massachusetts.
Smith (pictured during a practice round ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational in Boston) has claimed the new Rebel series is the future of the sport
Smith arrives during a practice round to the LIV Golf Invitational in Bolton Massachusetts
“This is a new kind of chapter in my life,” Smith said. “I think this is the future of golf. I like how it is here.
‘I think so [the sport] must change, especially as our golf fans get younger. I think we need to do something to make it exciting for them… it’s been the same for a long, long time and it needs to be fueled up a bit.”
Despite heavy criticism from fans, the Aussie admits being paid $140 million was a “factor” in the business decision he made to switch – but not the only reason.
Smith was also very excited to be able to spend more time in Australia because of the tour schedule.
“I haven’t been to Australia in three years,” Smith said.
“In order to spend more time at home and not miss the weddings of friends and families, some of my friends over the past four or five years have had children that I still haven’t met, so that’s going to be a part of my life, I can’t wait to go back.’
Smith says PGA Tour should be ‘stirred up’
Smith and compatriot Marc Leishman were critical of the failure of LIV golfers to accumulate world ranking points.
“As for the majors and stuff, I think it could hurt them that some guys might miss out because they don’t offer world ranking points here,” Leishman said.
‘As a golf enthusiast, that is difficult for the top tournaments, but hopefully that will resolve itself.’
Smith, who has free passage to the majors with his British Open win, also claimed the rules were “unfair” for players.
“I hope these points in the world ranking will resolve themselves before my exemption expires,” he said.
Smith revealed that other players — and even PGA commissioner Jay Monahan — had reached out to him to try and stop him from leaving, but nothing would make him change his mind.
The Aussie says a key factor in making his final decision was the promise of an LIV tournament down under.
“We’re working on it… I think it would be great for Australian golf,” he said.
“To bring this new exciting format to Australia I think it will be embraced.”
Cameron Smith poses with trophy after winning British Open
The sport’s worst kept secret was confirmed on Tuesday night, with Smith being announced as a new addition to the Saud-backed tournament – their biggest signing to date.
Smith admitted that a phone call from Australian golf legend Greg Norman shortly after his British Open victory played a big part in convincing him to turn his back on the PGA Tour.
“He’s the idol—he’s someone I’d always listen to,” said Smith, who had played with Norman’s junior golf foundation until he was 18.
Smith joins a host of other top names to defect, including Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, as well as European Ryder Cup veterans Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia.