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Cameron Smith has withdrawn from the BMW Championship, citing "hip discomfort."
In a statement, Smith’s agent, Bud Martin, said the Australian has been suffering with hip discomfort for “several months and thought it best to rest this week in pursuit of the FedEx Cup.”
It has been a rollercoaster few weeks for the 28-year-old. Following his victory at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, Smith has persistently been linked as the latest star name to defect from the PGA Tour and join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
The World No.2 refused to deny the reports after he was crowned Champion Golfer of the Year and faced further scrutiny ahead of the FedEx St. Jude Championship after fellow Aussie Cameron Percy suggested he and Marc Leishman were as good as "gone" from the PGA Tour.
Ahead of his appearance at TPC Southwind, Smith himself said that he was "ready to cop some heat" in what was perhaps the biggest hint that he is set to join the Greg Norman-fronted venture in a reported $100m deal.
Talk of LIV Golf momentarily paused and it was Smith's performance on the course that caught the eye. The Aussie battled within two shots of the lead at the FedEx St. Jude Championship but was dealt a cruel blow in his quest for back-to-back victories in competitive starts.
Ahead of the final round, the Australian was issued a two-shot penalty for playing a ball from the wrong place after it was deemed he failed to take full relief on the fourth hole of his third round. He would go on to finish T13, seven shots behind eventual playoff winner Will Zalatoris.
Although Smith will not tee it up in Delaware, he is set to return to action at the Tour Championship next week. Despite his withdrawal from the BMW Championship, the 28-year-old is third in the FedEx Cup standings and remains in prime position to claim the season-long spoils at East Lake.
Smith will reportedly make his LIV Golf debut in Boston in September, after the conclusion of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He may feasibly do so as the reigning Open, Players and FedEx Cup champion as well as World No.1 in what would certainly be a huge blow to the PGA Tour.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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