ATLANTA – Open Championship winner Cameron SmithSources confirm that he is among the next wave PGA Tour players who will be moving to LIV Golf, according to ESPN sources.
Smith, who is ranked second in the Official World Golf Rankings, will be the highest-ranked Australian player to leave for LIV Golf. He is being accompanied by fellow Australians Greg NormanSaudi Arabias sovereign fund provided financing.
Australias Marc Leishman, Harold Varner III, Chiles Joaquin Niemann, Indias Anirban LahiriAnd Cameron TringaleExpected to join the LIV Golf circuit are also those players. Smith and these players will compete at LIV Golf’s next event, which is scheduled for the International in Boston on September 2-4.
Chiles Mito PereiraSources confirmed to ESPN that LIV Golf is also being considered, as sources confirm to ESPN.
Golf Channel first reported the defections on Saturday.
Smith and Niemann were automatically berths on an International Team that will compete in the Presidents Cup at Quail hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sept. 20-25. Jay Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner has suspended players from competing in LIV Golf events. These players will not be permitted to play at the Presidents Cup which is sanctioned through the PGA Tour.
Smith, 29 years old, is a six-time winner of the PGA Tour. In March, he won The Players, which was worth $3.6 million. This is the largest prize in professional golf history. Smith will be competing at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Smith declined to answer any questions about LIV Golf and said that he was only here to make putts and hit good shots.
This week, Rory McIlroySmith said that he spoke to him two days after he won Claret Jug at St. Andrews 150th Open Championship. McIlroy stated that he wanted Smith to be informed about changes on the PGA Tour.
Monahan announced Tuesday that the Tours top players had committed to playing 20 events beginning in 2023. The Tour will also host 13 higher-level events with average purses of $20,000,000, and it will double the Player Impact Program bonus from $50M to $100M starting next year.
Niemann, the 18th-ranked world player, won the Genesis At Riviera in February. It was his second PGA Tour victory. Varner, the 44th-ranked golfer, has not won on the PGA Tour but he did win the PIF Saudi International in February.
Niemann said Friday to Golf Channel that he was still unsure about his future plans. Sports Illustrated reported that Niemann is expected to sign with LIV Golf to compete in Boston.
Tringale, Lahiri and the PGA Tour have never won. Lahiri has won seven times in Asia and twice on DP World Tour.