Australian Cameron Smith has lifted the lid on the reasons behind his move to LIV Golf, citing money and scheduling as the two key components that ultimately convinced him to join the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit.
The world number two is undoubtedly LIV’s biggest capture to date coming off a season that saw him lift The Players Championship and The Open Championship while he also grabbed a podium finish at the Masters.
Smith all but told reporters following his Claret Jug win that he would be joining LIV; his refusal to shut down speculation surrounding his future told a story in itself.
On Tuesday, his move was confirmed by LIV Golf but for those wondering why Smith, a 28-year old star in the prime of his career with over $27million banked in PGA Tour earnings alone, is making the move to LIV, he explained to Golf Digest why:
“[Money] was definitely a factor in making that decision, I won’t ignore that or say that wasn’t a reason,” Smith said of his offer believed to be in the region of $140m.
“It was obviously a business decision for one and an offer I couldn’t ignore.”
There’s no doubt Smith would’ve heavily cashed in had he remained on the PGA Tour, given how prize money has increased for top players of the Aussie’s ilk from 2023. Smith is also said to have been enticed by the possibility of three months off between October and February – LIV’s mooted off-season – though why he wouldn’t be able to do that under the PGA Tour’s current structure could certainly be debated. Smith said;
“The biggest thing for me joining is [LIV’s] schedule is really appealing. I’ll be able to spend more time at home in Australia and maybe have an event down there, as well. I haven’t been able to do that, and to get that part of my life back was really appealing.
“I’ve lived over here seven years now, and I love living in the U.S., but just little things like missing friends’ weddings, birthday parties and seeing your mates having a great time at rugby league games has been tough.”
With fellow Aussie, Marc Leishman also joining LIV, and Greg Norman still CEO, there is the possibility of a LIV event Down Under, another dangling carrot too good to ignore.
“I’m sure with Leish and I playing it’ll be appealing for LIV,” Smith added.
Whatever your thoughts on LIV Golf and the future of the game, the PGA Tour has lost an exceptional talent ahead of the new season.