Cameron Smith Considers Attending Players Championship As Spectator

The LIV Golf player is ineligible to defend his title at TPC Sawgrass, but he could still put in an appearance

Cameron Smith takes a shot at the 2023 Saudi International
Cameron Smith says he's considering attending the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As expected, there is a top-quality field for this week’s Players Championship, but there's one glaring omission – World No.5 and defending champion Cameron Smith.

The Australian claimed victory by one shot over Anirban Lahiri last year, but his decision to sign for LIV Golf less than six months later led to his suspension from the PGA Tour and subsequent absence from this year’s event. However, the 29-year-old lives close to Florida's TPC Sawgrass, where the tournament is held and, even though he won’t be teeing it up in the event, he has revealed he could yet make an appearance as a spectator.

In an interview shared by Golf.com on Twitter, Smith was asked what he would be doing during the tournament and he responded: “I’m a little bit unsure you know? That’s where I live now so, I don’t know, I’ll definitely be watching on TV. I think it’s a great event to watch. I grew up my whole childhood watching the event and yeah, I’d love to get out there. I don’t know how it would be received but even getting out there and watching, walking around in the crowd might be pretty funny.”

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If Smith does put in an appearance at this week’s tournament, it is sure to be a bittersweet occasion given he will be the first player unable to defending the trophy since 2014, when injury curtailed Tiger Woods’ chances of playing. However, he didn’t appear to harbour any ill will towards those who will be in the field. When it was jokingly suggested he could do a little heckling, he laughed and replied: “I don’t know if I could do heckling.“

While an impromptu appearance as a face in the crowd would no doubt generate plenty of attention for Smith, he appears to be keeping his options open, with the chance to pursue a far more low-profile endeavour – fishing – also a distinct possibility.

The Open champion discussed his plans with Golf Digest at the first LIV Golf League event of the season at El Camaleon Golf Club, and he said: “I think it'll be a pretty quiet week on the water. I think all the residents will be out watching the golf tournament. So I’ll be able to strap out and have the water to myself.”

However Smith chooses to spend his time during the Players Championship, it’s not too long until he will get he chance to pit his wits against some of the best on the PGA Tour. After two more LIV Golf League events, in Arizona and Florida, Smith will compete in the first Major of the year, The Masters at Augusta National, where he will be aiming to improve on his finish of third in 2022.

Mike Hall
Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 


He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 


Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 


Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.