The war for the soul of the Gulf is heating up … and Australia could be a key battleground

Australian world number 6 Cameron Smith has urged the PGA Tour to bring an event to Australia, as the escalation of the war with Greg Norman’s LIV Golf continues to affect the start of the US Open. ‘this week.

Smith has continually distanced himself from the growing divide between the players who have stayed and those who have grabbed the megabucks on offer.

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Adam Scottis presented the Australian Open trophy. Source: News Corp Australia

It’s a situation that PGA champion Justin Thomas called “sad” this week, and Rory McIlroy said he had left some players “despised” after others returned to their original commitment to the PGA Tour to join. if Norman.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka said the whole conversation about LIV was creating a “black cloud” during the second major of the year, as reports suggest that the DP World Tour, before European Tour, it could align with LIV in some way.

But amid rumors that Norman’s controversial new venture could be looking to add an Australian event in Melbourne to its future schedule, Smith said the PGA Tour could move forward.

Unable to return home to play since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Smith urged officials to put Australia directly into their thoughts.

“I would love for the PGA Tour to go down (in Australia) and play some golf,” Smith told the Massachusetts Country Club.

“It’s something I’ve been unable to do personally for a couple of years now because of Covid.

I miss home and I’m sure all the home fans will miss watching world class golf.

Golf Channel analyst and former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley said Australia could play a key role for the PGA Tour in the growth of the game, which LIV stars have said has been a key motivation. for their desertion.

“You talk about growing the game. Say you want to go international or you want to take it to Alaksa to argue,” he said.

“We’re sending Jon Rahm up there, we’re sending Rory McIlroy up there, we’re sending Justin Thomas

up there. We send them up there as part of a contract where they are paid a lot of money to promote the game in that region.

“Then we can take it and take it to Australia.

“Australia is the most beautiful country to play golf. If you’ve ever been there, these courses in Melbourne and Sydney are amazing.

“Imagine if the best players on the tour bothered to play the Australian Open with the PGA Tour contract, wouldn’t it be great to have an event down there?

“You talk about growing the game, this is an idea of ​​how we can grow the game.

“It’s interesting to see if there is an evolution towards this model as we go through this agitation.”

Smith, meanwhile, said he was happy to avoid getting caught up in discussions about the impact of the Saudi-backed LIV Gulf, amid allegations of events, offering prizes of more than $ 30 million, an attempt at “sports laundering.” Saudi Arabia’s horror record for human rights.

“My goal this week is to play golf,” Smith said.

“I am far from the smartest person in the room and I am not a politician. I’m here to follow a white golf ball and see what it does.

“Everyone has answered the question (about LIV) differently. But my goal is to be here and play good golf.”

Australians Marc Leishman of Australia and Cameron Smith before the US Open in Massachusetts. Image: Rob Carr / Getty Images / AFPSfont: AFP

The 28-year-old Brisbane has been shown to be a great event player, winning the Player Championship earlier this year, which he and other players refer to as the fifth major.

Smith has also reached the top three finals in the last five Masters, including a runner-up effort in 2020. In the top two majors this year, he finished third in Augusta and finished tied for 13th in last month’s PGA Championship. in the Southern Hills. .

It is a career that wants to maintain the upward trend at the US Open, an event in which its best result was fourth in its debut in 2015 in Chambers Bay, where it was announced in the world of golf .

“I love the older ones. I feel like they’re getting the best out of me,” Smith said.

“I love the demand for good play and only good results. I feel like I’ve had some success at the US Open before. I think this is a very good place for me.

“I would like to think that my game has progressed where I can compete on most golf courses.”

Smith, one of seven Australians in the U.S. Open field, plays with world and No. 1 masters Scottie Scheffler and Koepka in the opening round, an indication of his new position in the world order.

It’s a position Smith has noticed and is enjoying as he plans his way to winning his first major.

“There’s also a bit of a different vibe on the golf course to me,” Smith said.

“Maybe a few more people are rooting for me, which is good. It’s something I’m still getting used to, but I like it.”

Cameron Smith enjoys being recognized as one of the best golfers in the world. Image: Rob Carr / Getty Images Source: Getty Images


The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts

Aussie rd 1 departure time:


21:29 – Adam ScottJordan Spieth, Max Homa

22:02 – Marc LeishmanKeegan Bradley, Aaron Wise


2:30 am – Jed MorganTaylor Montgomery, Sean Crocker

3:25 am – Min Woo LeeSeamus Power, Joohyung Kim

3:25 am – Cameron SmithBrooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler

4:09 am – Lucas HerbertHarris English, Jason Kokrak

4:21 am – Todd SinnottJonas Blixt, Bo Hoag

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