Cam Smith teases that he will show up at The Players and watch from the crowd after the reigning champion was banned from defending his title following PGA Tour suspension for joining Saudi-backed LIV Golf
- Cameron Smith won the 2022 Players at TPC but is unable to defend his title
- He was suspended from the PGA Tour after joining LIV Golf for reported $140m
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LIV Golf defector Cam Smith will not be able to defend his title at the Players championship this weekend after being banned from the PGA Tour but that might not stop him from still attending.
The Australian was suspended from the PGA Tour after defecting to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf last year for a reported $140million.
Smith, formerly ranked world No. 2, triumphed at the Players last year before going on to win his first major at the British Open in July.
But he won’t be able to defend his title as he, along with 30 other LIV golfers who played at TPC Sawgrass last year, due to his ban.
However, he joked that he might still turn up to watch the event with the tournament is hosted only a few minutes drive from the major-winner’s home in Florida.
LIV Golf defector Cam Smith joked he will attend the Players this year after being banned
‘I am a little it unsure. That is where I live now. I don’t know, I will definitely be watching it on TV. I think it is a great event,’ he told Golf.com.
‘I grew up my whole childhood watching the event. I would love to get out there. I don’t know how it would be received, me getting out there and watching, walking around in the crowd. Might be pretty funny, I would love to do that.’
Smith later joked that he didn’t think he would take part in the heckling.
While Smith will miss out on his appearance at the Players, there is nothing standing in his way of attempting to keep hold of the Claret Jug this year.
Smith became the first Australian in almost 30 years to take home the claret jug last July, and it was feared he may not feature in Scotland this year after jumping ship a month later for a reported $140million.
But Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director of champions at the R&A, stated the likes of Smith and fellow LIV players including Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed will feature at Royal Liverpool.
The confirmation from Cole-Hamilton backs up previous comments from R&A chief Martin Slumbers, who said banning LIV players was ‘not on our agenda.’
The Australian was suspended from the PGA Tour after defecting to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf
The 29-year-old will be allowed to defend his British Open this year after his win at St Andrews
Smith hinted at some regret over his decision to jump ship to the rebel circuit as he admitted ‘it hurts’ that he can’t be world No. 1.
Smith has also declared the world rankings will be ‘obsolete’ if points aren’t awarded to LIV events, with a slew of the world’s best players now part of Greg Norman’s billion-dollar breakaway.
The Australian climbed to a career-high ranking of No 2 in 2022, a year in which he won five times, as well as both The Open and The Players Championship.
He has only dropped to No 4 since joining LIV after his triumph at St Andrews, but other LIV players have had bigger slips, with Dustin Johnson, arguably a top-10 player, ranked 58.
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