Australian golf star Cameron Smith has begged the PGA Tour and majors to allow players who’ve defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf to let them play in their events.
Smith, the reigning Open champion, has a five-year exemption to play in all four majors thanks to his win at St Andrews but the futures of others who have joined the controversial rival tour are unclear.
While the PGA Tour has indefinitely banned golfers who’ve played a LIV event and the DP World Tour is caught up in court proceedings about players on their circuit, it’s unclear what The Masters, USPGA Championship and US Open will do.
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The question of ranking points is also up in the air, with Smith currently world No.3 but set to slide because LIV’s 54-hole, no-cut events do not qualify for the world rankings system.
That issue has seen players like Dustin Johnson plummet down the order.
Speaking ahead of his return to Australia for the Australian PGA tournament – which he can play in due to the DP World Tour court action – Smith called for an ease of tensions.
‘Perfect’ Cam Smith putt sinks Mickleson | 00:41
“I think the majors really have to stand above all the politics,” Smith told the Nine papers.
“If they really want the best product and the best players playing against each other in the world, they have to let us play. There’s no reason other than playing another tour that should suggest we shouldn’t play.
“We’re definitely good enough players. We should have those spots.”
Smith’s LIV Golf announced on Monday it would hold its first event in Australia in April 2023, at the Grange Golf Club in Adelaide.
“I think on both sides of the board there could have been a few things, definitely at the start, where they could have said different stuff,” Smith said.
“There were things where … there was just some petty stuff going on. It wasn’t just one side. I’m hopeful that all that is going to really die down. It would be nice because it’s not golf.
“I feel like golf has always been a sport to overcome all these different problems throughout the world, and it feels like it’s taken a step back.”
Smith headlines the Australian PGA, also featuring our other top-ranked golfers Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones, Lucas Herbert, Min Woo Lee and Cameron Davis.