Cameron Smith didn’t even have time to take a sip from the Claret Jug when the newly crowned British Open champion was asked to take on an elephant in the room.
And Australia’s latest sports superstar wasn’t happy.
Instead of basking in the glory of becoming the first Australian in 29 years to win golf’s oldest and biggest prize, Smith was asked if he was interested in joining the .
Smith snapped when the British reporter said apologetically that he was only asking because the rumor mill that the 28-year-old could sign was in full swing.
Cameron Smith became the first Australian in 29 years to win the oldest and biggest prize in golf. Source: AARP, SIPA USA / USA TODAY Network
“I just won the British Open and you are asking about it. I think it’s not good.” Smith said before being pressured.
“I don’t know, mate. My team around me is worried about all of this. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”
Greg Norman, Smith’s idol and last Australian tennis champion in 1993, is the CEO and face of LIV Golf.
The billion-dollar organization has already signed 23 players who competed in the 150th Open at St. Andrews, including top winners Phil Mickelson, Brooks Kopeka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reid, Sergio Garcia and Luis Austhuizen.
But due to the huge anxiety over the United State PGA Tour, rumors are circulating that these six heavyweights may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Now that the 2022 main season has ended, there are rumors that a host of high-profile players are set to announce their departure as early as this week.
Legendary players from different countries and continents are said to have been offered insane amounts of money to join LIV Golf.
Johnson was reportedly paid US$200 million (AU$294 million) to sign after Tiger Woods apparently forfeited US$1 billion (AU$1.5 billion) to join.
Matt Jones has so far been the only Australian PGA Tour star to defect.
Other international stars brought in include Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch and 2018 Australian Open champion Abraham Unser.
Smith declined to say if he intended to leave the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. Source: AARP, Press Association / David Davis
Smith used a run of five consecutive birdies to score 8 under par 64 to pass Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy to win The Open by one stroke for his first major title on Sunday in St. Louis. Andrews in Scotland.
He posted a four-round 20-to-268 record, setting a major championship record for the lowest-to-par score. Cameron Young, his playing partner, hit the 18th hole and finished second with 65, while McIlroy completed two shots back.
Smith, who started the day four shots off pace, won The Players Championship in March and came close to the Masters, where he stumbled in the final round and tied for third.
“I want to thank the team for all the hard work we’ve put in,” Smith said as he accepted the Claret pitcher. “The last couple of years have really started to pay off and this one is definitely worth it.”
McIlroy’s 70 ghost-free points were only enough for third place in the under-18s. This year, he finished in the top 10 at all four majors, but was unable to deal with the title drought that began in 2014.
“At the end of the day, it’s not life or death,” McIlroy said. “I will have other chances to win the Open Championship and other chances to win big tournaments. It seems to me that I missed this chance, but there will be other opportunities.