Cameron Smith has revealed that Rory McIlroy rang him just days after beating him to the Claret Jug at St Andrews in a last-ditch effort to try and convince him to remain loyal to the PGA Tour rather than join LIV Golf.
The Aussie was hot property in the world of golf having also won the Players Championship earlier in the year and he has opened up on what McIlroy said on that phonecall.
“I’ve always had respect for Rory, and I’ve liked what he says on the golf course,” Smith recently told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“He said, ‘Congrats’. There were maybe a couple of little jabs in there. He was happy I played well, and it was a good tournament. Then we talked about the PGA Tour and LIV. There was a bunch of stuff he wanted me to know before I made my decision. I wouldn’t say he tried to directly talk me out of it, but he definitely wanted me to stay.”
Reports that Smith had put pen to paper on a deal to sign with LIV Golf surfaced almost immediately after he had lifted the Claret Jug – with the 29-year-old coy on his future in the following winner’s press conference.
However the world number three was adamant that no official decision had been made during the Open Championship.
“I was definitely leaning one way, but it wasn’t signed on paper. There was still so much stuff to do, and so much to think about,” said Smith who endured a few sleepless nights along the way.
“I was constantly thinking, ‘What will other people think?’” Smith described. “That was a really big factor for me. I feel like I do most things by the book and to be one to step away … was really tough for me,” added Smith who has likely had any prior concerns quashed by the bucketloads of money he has received from the Saudi backed organisation since.
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