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After speculation arose following his victory at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, Cameron Smith has been unveiled as the latest star to join LIV Golf, with the Australian reportedly signing a deal worth over $100+ million.
Smith dropped the biggest hint that he was set to defect from the PGA Tour and join the Saudi-backed Series when he said he was "ready to cop some heat," and now, almost immediately following the conclusion of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the 29-year-old's move to the Greg Norman-fronted venture has been finalised.
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The acquisition of Smith is a significant one. Not only is the Australian the Champion Golfer of the Year but he also holds the Players Championship - the PGA Tour's flagship event - which is the most financially lucrative purse of the season and often dubbed "the fifth Major." The World No.2 is the best-ranked player to join the breakaway circuit and an enormous coup for the long-term success of the Series.
"LIV Golf is showing the world that our truly global league is attracting the world’s best players and will grow the game into the future for the next generation,” said Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf. "The best and the brightest continue to embrace the excitement and energy of LIV Golf and what we’re building: a tangible league for team golf that will connect with new audiences all over the globe. We can’t wait to tee off this week at The International and deliver another memorable event experience for fans."
As it stands, Smith is the 12th Major champion on the LIV Golf roster as Norman continues to lure big names away from the established ecosystem. Recent recruits include Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who was stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy for violating the terms of the contract he signed to lead Europe in the 2023 match in Rome.
Along with enticing Major winners and big names away from the tours, LIV Golf bosses have accelerated the expansion of the Saudi-backed circuit following the success of the opening invitational tournaments, with next year's schedule to feature 14 events and an increased total prize pot of $405m.
Smith will make his debut at this week's LIV Golf event at the International Club in Boston, where he is joined by fellow debutants Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III, Cameron Tringale, Marc Leishman and Anirban Lahiri.
The Australian will no longer be eligible for the Presidents Cup in September as his suspension from the PGA Tour will be made official once the LIV Golf event is underway.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
- James HibbittWriter
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