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The LIV Golf CEO, who won the Claret Jug twice in his playing days, welcomed Smith to the select group of Aussies to be crowned Champion Golfer of the Year. He is the first Australian winner since the Great White Shark himself in 1993 at Royal St George’s. Smith fired a closing 64 to come from four shots behind to win the Open by one shot in a St Andrews record 20-under-par score.
Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! 🇦🇺🏆 A spectacular final round mate. A triumph for you and for Australia as the first Australian to win in 29 years. You’re in good company :-) Enjoy every moment of your @TheOpen victory @CameronSmithPGA. #TheOpen #thatwinningfeeling pic.twitter.com/GIdvhLpPVaJuly 17, 2022
Because of his association with LIV Golf, Norman was not invited to the Celebration of Champions at St Andrews, but he was still glued to the action as Smith came from behind on the final day to win his first Major. Norman’s tweet told the new champ to “enjoy every moment” and told him he is “in good company”.
While Norman’s comment that Smith is ‘in good company’ is likely referring to the group of Aussie winners of the Open, it could be taken as confirmation of reports that LIV Golf would like to sign up the new World No.2. Smith did not distance himself from rumours he may be the latest big name to sign with LIV at his post-victory press conference, and there are reports that Norman wants to put together an all-Australian team to play in the Saudi-backed series, with Smith the headline act.
While Smith didn’t want to say too much about LIV Golf after his victory, he was happy to expand on what it is like to join the likes of Peter Thomson, Norman, Kel Nagle and Ian Baker-Finch as Open champions from Australia. “Yeah, that's pretty cool,” he said. “I think just in general, all the names on there, every player that's been at the top of their game has won this championship. It's pretty cool to be on there. It really hasn't sunk in yet. I don't think it will for a few weeks. It's just unreal.”
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Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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