'They're Gone' - Smith And Leishman To LIV? One Aussie Pro Says So

An Australian PGA Tour veteran has insisted that Smith and Leishman will sign with LIV Golf

Cam Smith and Marc Leishman
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour veteran Cam Percy has told the Golf Gambling Podcast that newly-crowned Open champion Cameron Smith and fellow Aussie Marc Leishman will join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.

"Unfortunately, yeah. They're gone," he said. Smith was visibly annoyed when asked about the long-standing rumours linking him to the Greg Norman-fronted venture shortly after he hoisted the Claret Jug at St Andrews. 

"I just won the British Open, and you're asking about that. I think that's pretty.... Not that good." The 28-year-old then failed to deny the ongoing speculation when he added: "I don't know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I'm here to win golf tournaments."

The LIV Golf Series continues to attract criticism as a result of its financial backers - the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund - with many accusing its participants of being complicit in sportswashing human rights atrocities within the Kingdom.

LIV Golf players have continued to distance themselves from this line of questioning and insisted their involvement is purely for the growth and support of the game. Percy however, is the latest to offer input in the morality issue: "The more and more you look into it, some people don’t care, some people have got a conscience and do care," he said. "It really comes down to, you know, ‘they just executed 80 people this week, just chopped their heads off’. They’re not the nicest people in the world. Do you just look past that and go, ‘Oh well, I’m rich I don’t really care’. It’s a tough one, it really is."

Former Open champion and fellow Aussie Ian Baker-Finch recently urged Smith to reject the advances of the LIV Golf Series and create a "legacy" on the PGA Tour. "I don’t think he needs the money. I don’t think it is going to be something that he should do. He will be a $100 million guy or more now. Does he want to win more Majors or does he want the money? I am hoping he stays and leaves a great legacy like a Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy."

The 61-year-old added: "The guys who go join LIV are going to miss out on the grind, what it takes to be a champion, to play in the great tournaments against the great players. It's hard work. You’re not going to become a better player by going and playing 54 hole exhibition matches and getting paid $150,000 to finish last."

Smith joined Jack Nicklaus as only the second man to win the Players Championship and Open Championship in the same season. He is also one of five to achieve that feat under the age of 30, joining Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, David Duval and Sandy Lyle.

The Australian's form this season will likely earn him a lucrative signing bonus with the LIV Golf Series and should that be finalised, he would be the highest ranked player to make the shift. The World No.2 could potentially front the all-Aussie team Punch GC, currently captained by Wade Ormsby.

James Hibbitt

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.