“I haven’t slept in months: Cam Smith recalls LIV’s decision

Cam Smith spoke about his decision to LIV.

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No, Cam Smith’s LIV Golf deal was not fixed when he won the Open Championship in July.

The third racket of the world shed light on his decision Sydney Morning Herald as he is set to return to his native Australia for the first time in three years this week for the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship.

“I was definitely leaning one way, but it wasn’t signed on paper,” Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald. “There is still so much to do and so much to think about.”


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After his victory at St. Andrews, Smith, who is now infamous, chided a reporter who asked about joining the upstart Saudi-backed rival league PGA Tour.

“I just won the UK Open and you are asking about this? I don’t think it’s that good,” Smith said at his winner’s press conference.

Smith said the decision was not an easy one, and he knew that if and when he decided to take the plunge, there would be a backlash.

“I felt like I hadn’t slept in months,” he said. “I kept thinking, ‘What are other people going to think? This was a really important factor for me. I feel like I do most things by the rules, and being the one to back off… was really hard for me.”

Smith ultimately left the PGA Tour at the conclusion of the FedEx Cup playoffs. in August for a $140 million signing bonus with LIV Golf along with Australian Mark Leishman and four other professionals. He is one of those professionals who took the leap and publicly cited guaranteed money as one of the reasons for the escape.

All players who have switched to LIV Golf are suspended from the PGA Tour.

Smith also reported morning messenger he spoke to many people close to him about his decision, and even received a call from Rory McIlroy just days after the Open when Smith fired a 9 30 back to continue McIlroy’s drought streak.


Cameron Smith hits the ball on the 18th hole of the LIV Team Golf Championship on October 30, 2022 at the Trump National Doral Golf Club in Doral, Florida.

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“I have always respected Rory and liked what he says on the golf course,” Smith said. “He said, ‘Congratulations.’ There may have been a couple of small bumps. He was glad that I played well and it was a good tournament. Then we talked about the PGA Tour and LIV. There were a lot of things he wanted me to know before I made my decision. I wouldn’t say he was trying to talk me out of it directly, but he definitely wanted me to stay.”

He also confided in fellow Australian Ian Baker-Finch, who detailed some of their conversations in a joint interview with Smith. Daily Telegraph earlier this month.

“In my very last night conversation, I said, ‘Look… if I were your father, I would advise you to take the money,'” Baker-Finch told the Daily Telegraph. “I really hoped that Cam would not leave, because I felt that he had the ability to become No. 1 in the world and make a big name for himself, as Adam Scott has done for many years. Greg Norman did it myself.”

Smith also reported morning messenger he spoke to both Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. He wanted to know what each tour was planning to help develop the game in his home country.

Norman promised that Smith LIV would come down. This promise came true last week with LIV announces that they will be hosting an event at The Grange Club. next spring.

Monahan said the PGA Tour is considering hosting a Korn Ferry Tour event in Australia.

“For me, the PGA Tour is a great place,” Smith said. “This is a great tour that brings really good results. But when you look back Adam [Scott] been one of the best golfers in the world for 20 years and I just think it’s really weird for them [PGA Tour] not to have an event [in Australia] just because of him,” says Smith. “Then you have Jason [Day]Mark [Leishman], there are a bunch of guys they could do so much for. The Australian crowd gets around it so much… But I just don’t think it’s that beneficial for them and that’s kind of the reason for it all.”

Jack Hirsch

Golf Editor

Jack Hirsch is an assistant editor at GOLF. A native of Pennsylvania, Jack graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism and political science. He was the captain of his high school golf team and still *trying* to stay competitive with the locals. Prior to joining GOLF, Jack spent two years at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a multimedia journalist/reporter, as well as producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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