Aussie golf star Cameron Smith reveals big regret about LIV rebels and makes a doomsday prediction
Australian golf superstar Cameron Smith expresses his deep regret at the $140m move to the LIV Rebel Tour – and offers a doomsday prediction for the future of the sport
- Smith signed a $140 million deal to join Breakaway Comp in 2022
- The highlight of his year was winning the Open in St. Andrews
- Aussie has a bleak prognosis for the future of golf unless changes are made
Cameron Smith has admitted it hurts that he can’t be world No. 1 after coming very close to cracking the top spot before moving to breakaway LIV competition last year.
But the Australian has explained that if points are not awarded for LIV events, the world rankings will be “stale” as a number of the world’s top players are now part of Greg Norman’s billionaire breakaway.
Smith rose to No. 2 in 2022, a year in which he won five times, winning both the British Open and the Players Championship.
He’s only fallen to 4th since joining LIV following his St Andrews triumph, but other LIV players have had bigger slips, with Dustin Johnson, arguably a top 10 player, finishing in 41st.
Smith (pictured with LIV boss Greg Norman last September) has predicted that golf’s world rankings will be “stale” unless players from the breakaway competition are included
The Australian (pictured playing in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday) believes so many top players have joined the rebels that the rankings will be worthless without them
Smith is the only LIV player in the top 35 in the world.
A petition submitted by Norman and LIV to have their events – which are 54-hole no-cut tournaments and do not qualify for world ranking points – included in the rankings has yet to be answered.
Smith said he was coping with missing out on a key career goal, but explained that if the rankings didn’t keep up with golf’s new world order, it was “outdated”.
“I tried not to take it too badly, to be honest. I think when you get promoted to a tournament, you know who to beat, whether there’s a world ranking or not,” he said in Saudi Arabia, where he will start his 2023 season.
“There’s generally seven or eight guys in that area that you know are going to put up a pretty good fight.
“Of course it hurts. I feel like I was close to getting number 1 and that was definitely something I wanted to tick off.
“But the longer this stuff goes on, the more obsolete I think these rankings will become. That’s just the long and short of it I guess.
“Do we need them? It would be nice, but like I said, you know who to beat when you get on the golf course.’
The Queenslander’s incredible 2022 was highlighted by his victory in the Open at St Andrews’ famous Old Course (pictured).
Smith is looking forward to leading LIV’s all-Australia team in Adelaide in April
But while Smith can’t become world No. 1, the other aspect of being a LIV player has started to consume his life.
Smith has taken charge of the all-Australia team, which will undergo a name change for 2023 and will also play a LIV event in Adelaide in April.
“I guess it was an off-season for golf, but somehow every day I seemed to be on the phone talking about something related to the team, so it was really exciting,” he said.
“It sure was a bit different and something I’m not really used to, but I feel like the longer it goes on I’m getting used to it.
“I can’t wait for us to start in Mexico. I think we’re going to have a great year and we’re definitely looking forward to this event in Adelaide. I think it will be a great tournament.”