Cameron Smith Defends Greg Norman After Woods And McIlroy Call For LIV CEO To Go

Smith discussed Greg Norman, LIV Golf and why the world rankings are a "pain in the bum"

Cameron Smith talks to the media at the Australian Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cameron Smith has admitted that Greg Norman sometimes "comes off a little bit abrasive" but has stuck up for his countryman after calls from both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy for the two-time Open champion to step down from his role as LIV Golf's CEO.

Woods said Norman has "got to go" for LIV and the PGA Tour to co-exist, while McIlroy also said the Australian "needs to go" as golf's civil war rages on.

Cameron Smith is LIV Golf's highest-ranked player at No.3 in the Official World Golf Ranking after a spectacular year that has seen him win four OWGR-sanctioned titles including his maiden Major title at the 150th Open. The 29-year-old joined following the conclusion of the 2022 PGA Tour season, after reportedly being offered north of $100m to ply his trade on the Saudi-backed start-up circuit.

Smith said Norman "really does believe in this thing" and described Miami's Team Championship, the finale of the inaugural LIV season, as "unbelievable."

“He believes in what he does,” Smith told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age ahead of this week's Australian Open. “Maybe sometimes Greg comes off a little bit abrasive, but he’s just trying to get a point across. He really does believe in this thing.

“I’ve spoken to him a million times the last four or five events. He believes in it and he thinks it’s a good product. If you were [to attend] Miami, it’s hard to see how it’s not going to work. Miami was such a turnout. It was unbelievable. The atmosphere was awesome.

“They’ve gone about things a little bit differently as far as golf is concerned, but they believe in the product and that’s what you want.”

Smith also described the low world ranking points on offer away from the PGA Tour as "irrelevant" and a "pain in the bum," with his fall down the list inevitable after joining LIV.

“I’m still third on the list somehow, but as time goes on I think those rankings become more and more irrelevant, especially with not getting world ranking points in those LIV events.

“I feel like I’m playing some really, really solid golf and yeah, it’s a bit of a pain in the bum.”

The Official World Golf Ranking has been heavily criticised by pros in recent months following changes to the system during the summer. Jon Rahm described it as "laughable", while Tiger Woods admitted the system is "flawed".

Smith is the headline name in this week's men's Australian Open, which takes place alongside the Women’s Australian Open at the same venues - Victoria Golf Club and Kingston Heath. He won his third Australian PGA Championship last week.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV