LIV Golf has announced that yet another big name golfer has joined the fledgling tour.
Cameron Smith has officially joined the controversial LIV Golf league.
LIV announced yesterday that the second-highest-ranked player in professional golf is defecting from the PGA Tour. Smith will be making his LIV debut at the Boston invitational this weekend.
Smith is the highest-ranked player to leave the PGA for LIV thus far. The league has pulled many golfers away from the PGA Tour with promises of hefty checks.
Why it’s important
In July, Smith won The Open Championship at St. Andrews, Scotland, of the four major tournaments of the year.
Shortly after the big win, Smith was asked if he had plans of leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. He replied, “I don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”
Many figured he would leave the PGA as his answer was far from a denial and it seems that they were right. The LIV league has yet to say how much it’s paying Smith, but in an interview with Golf Digest he said money was “definitely a factor.” Reports have said the deal is somewhere near $100 million.
Backing it up a bit
LIV Golf is a well-financed startup tour backed by the Public Invest Fund, led by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The new tour was created to compete with the PGA and has pulled many big name golfers away from the famous tour with promises of hefty checks—creating tremendous tension in the world of golf. For example, LIV will pay Phil Mickelson $200 million to play in the tour, which is nearly double what legend Tiger Woods has earned in prize money during his entire career. LIV gave the world’s number-one golfer Dustin Johnson a four-year, $125 million contract, double his lifetime earnings of $74 million.Along with players, LIV has also been adding some big names to its broadcast team. In recent weeks popular golf commentator David Feherty joined the startup tour as a broadcast analyst and continues to add big names to its roster.