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Norman, the last Aussie to lift the Claret Jug in 1993, before Smith’s thrilling come from behind victory in the 150th Open at St Andrews, is also hoping to sign up former Masters champion Adam Scott, according to a report in The Telegraph.
Smith was quizzed after his victory at the Home of Golf on speculation linking him with LIV Golf, and did nothing to dispel the rumours he may be next to jump ship and sign.
After his initial barbed response of, “I just won the British Open, and you're asking about that. I think that's pretty not that good,” Smith did provide some insight when pushed at the post-victory press conference. “I don't know, mate,” Smith added. “My team around me worries about all that stuff. I'm here to win golf tournaments.”
After a third round 73, Smith started the final round at St Andrew’s four shots adrift of leaders Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, and struggled to make an impression on the front nine. A run of five straight birdies after the turn vaulted the 28-year-old back into contention and then the lead, and a crucial birdie at the final hole sealed a one-shot victory over playing partner Cameron Young, with a heartbroken McIlroy one shot further back.
Smith’s 20-under-par total was the best ever Open effort at St Andrew’s, beating Tiger Woods’ 19-under in 2000, and equalled the best under par score in Major history.
Whether he’s a LIV Golfer by the time the next Major comes around remains to be seen, but it makes sense for arguably the greatest Australian golfer of all time Norman - who tweeted his congratulations to Smith after his win - to put together an all-Aussie team in the Saudi-backed Series.
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
The all-South African Stinger team of Louis Oosthuizen, Hennie du Plessis, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace won the $3million first prize in the team element of the first LIV Golf event at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire last month, and there are other teams made up of just one nationality, such as the all-English Majesticks - Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield and Laurie Canter.
If Norman is to put together an all-Aussie team, it makes sense that Smith, who moved up to World No.2 thanks to his maiden Major win, is a top target. Scott finished tied 15th at St Andrew’s, alongside fellow Aussies Lucas Herbert and Anthony Quayle. There are seven Australians currently ranked in the top 100, with Marc Leishman (57th), Min Woo Lee (71st), Cameron Davis (73rd) and Matt Jones (82nd) joining Herbert (52nd), Scott (39th) and Smith.
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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