There had been significant speculation for some time now that Australia’s Cameron Smith would be joining the LIV Tour. On Tuesday, that speculation turned into reality.
The fact that Smith is joining the LIV Tour is significant because the 29-year-old from Brisbane had a fantastic season on the PGA Tour during the calendar year. It started with a score of -34 at the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui, which broke Ernie Els’s record of -31 for the best four-round score ever on the PGA Tour. Ironically, Els of South Africa also achieved that record in Maui in 2003.
Smith then won the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in central Florida, where he won $3.6 million in the process, and then the 2022 British Open for the first major title of his career. By winning at the Open Championship at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, Smith shot a score of -20. He tied the record for the lowest four-round score in the history of major golf. The other three golfers to shoot -20 have been Australia’s Jason Day at the 2015 PGA Championship, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson at the 2016 British Open, and American Dustin Johnson at the 2020 Masters.
It should be noted that Smith of Brisbane was not the only Australian to join the LIV Tour. He was joined by Marc Leishman of Warrnambool. Smith and Leishman in fact teamed up to win the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. It was Smith’s second career win in the only two-man team event on the PGA Tour. He previously won with Jonas Blixt of Sweden in New Orleans in 2017.
In addition to Smith and Leishman, four more golfers have joined the LIV Tour. They were Americans Cameron Triangle and Harold Varner III, along with Chile’s Joaquin Niemann and India’s Anirban Lahiri. Niemann was a winner earlier this year on the PGA Tour, as he won the Genesis Invitational in southern California.