Australian golfer Cameron Smith is the reigning Open champion from 2022. While his LIV move has been widely contentious within the golfing community, his recent achievements through the years might be speaking in favor of the golfer’s ability. He is among the 18 LIV Golfers to participate in the first major tournament of the season, the 2023 Masters.
Leaving aside the schism between LIV and PGA Tour, Cam Smith has also set another benchmark in this year’s Masters. The Aussie became the ‘only’ LIV golfer to be present in the interview room ahead of the tournament this Thursday.
The other 14 players who were part of the pre-Masters press conference include former Masters winners Jordan Speith, Tiger Woods, and the defending champion Scottie Scheffler. The prominent LIV players who will be joining alongside the PGA loyalists on the field are Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, and Bubba Watson amongst several others.
However, this press conference stood out distinctly for Cam Smith in his comments about playing in LIV Golf. While many factions blamed him for not playing enough ‘real golf’ for competing in the Masters, the Aussie rubbished these claims and called them “Bulls**t.”
Related: Cameron Smith hits back at critics ahead of Masters challenge
Cameron Smith siding with the LIV Faction does not stand well with the fans
The schism between LIV Golf and PGA Tour has caused immense contention within the golfing community, enough to keep the fraternity divided for over an year now. Reigning Open champion Cam Smith was the only LIV golfer to be present in the pre-match conference and has termed all comments by his critics as “BS”.
Speaking to the press, Smith says, “I think for us, internally, there’s a lot of chatter going around about ‘these guys don’t play real golf anymore.’ And I think it’s BS to be honest. And we just want to show people that.”
One of the main criticism that the LIV Golfers face is to be continuously playing in a field with the elite. Fans argue that the golfers at the top of the table in the PGA Tour keep striving for the best and feel the pressure of competition. It has been easily noted by some fans that LIV golfers do not face the same pressure and competition as the PGA Tour players do.
Comparing Smith’s performance in the previous season would not substantiate the criticism he has been facing for defecting to LIV. The Aussie won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2022, followed by victories in Players Championship, the British Open at St. Andrews, and the DP World Tour title.
Comparing his performance at Augusta National, out of the last five times he has participated, Smith has ranked thrice in the top five and one top-10 in his Masters apperances. This year as well, Smith will be very much vying for the Green Jacket, just like any other golfer who would be in the field. He says, “Obviously first and foremost for me, I’m trying to go there and play the best golf I can. (But) I think it is important for us to go there, really show a high standard of golf which we know we’re all capable of.”
Defending his fellow LIV comrades participating, Smith says, “I think it is really important for us (LIV players) to go there and really show a high standard of golf, which we know we’re all capable of. Most of us will get four cracks at it this year(in the Majors), and hopefully we can get a win out of it.”
Fans are looking forward for the drama to unfold at the Augusta National with the PGA Tour players sharing field with the LIV golfers for the first time since their defection last year. While some fans think the LIV players would stack the leaderboard, others think they might collapse due to lack of playing under serious competitiveness.
In case you missed it:
- “It is what it is” – Bryson DeChambeau talks about severed relationship with Tiger Woods following $125 million LIV move
- Joaquin Niemann taunts PGA Tour players taking hatred for LIV as motivating factor for The Masters