Australia won’t stop Saudi-backed LIV Series players from competing at home | Golf News


Cameron Smith is shaping up to be the next top golfer to make the leap to the LIV Golf Invitational Series with his homeland hoping his biggest names can return home to give the local tour a boost

Last update: 08/12/22 08:21

Cameron Smith looms as next top golfer to make leap to LIV Golf Invitational Series

Australian golfers who sign up for the Saudi-backed LIV series will still be welcome to play in home events, amid reports that Cameron Smith has already agreed to join the breakaway circuit.

The Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship, two of the biggest tournaments on the PGA Tour of Australasia calendar, are co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, which decided to block some players from its tournaments in June after playing a LIV event.

Australia, however, are hoping their biggest names can return home to give the local tour a boost after a difficult two years disrupted by COVID-19.

“Players who return home to play, as long as there is no conflicting event, they will be welcome to play,” PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman told reporters.

“Australian players returning home from wherever they are playing at the moment, if they are members of our organization they will be eligible to play and that has been discussed with the other tours.”

Open winner Cameron Smith declines to comment on questions about joining LIV Golf

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Open winner Cameron Smith declines to comment on questions about joining LIV Golf

Open winner Cameron Smith declines to comment on questions about joining LIV Golf

A number of low-key Australian golfers have signed with LIV, including world number 82 Matt Jones.

Australian Travis Smyth, ranked outside the top 400, shared a $1.5million prize with three players for finishing second in the team element in the LIV opener away from home London in June.

The Telegraph The newspaper reported that Australia’s top player Smith, the world No. 2, has signed a deal worth over $100 million to join LIV in a major breakaway series coup.

LIV and Smith, who competes at the FedEx St Jude Championship in Memphis, declined to comment on the report.

Smith said after winning the Open he wanted to return home to Australia for a few events.

LIV said it would expand to Australia next year and local golf media reported the series, helmed by CEO Greg Norman, could have three events in the country in 2023.

This could bring many big-name players to Australia, which has often struggled to lure them to events due to the distance and relatively modest prize money on offer.

Smith wasn't too happy to be asked about his potential involvement in the LIV Golf Series following his win at St Andrews

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Smith wasn’t too happy to be asked about his potential involvement in the LIV Golf Series following his win at St Andrews

Smith wasn’t too happy to be asked about his potential involvement in the LIV Golf Series following his win at St Andrews

Kirkman said her tour couldn’t control how LIV operates in the country and she had to mind her own business.

“Some people will love it and some people won’t, but if it’s Australia we need to be in a position where we stay focused on our strategy,” he said.

“Is it going to be good for the game? What I don’t want and what I don’t like to hear and read right now is people arguing about what’s good for the game and which is not.

“If (fans) go out and see golf in a different format, that’s up to them.”

LIV trio ‘failed to show they were injured’, says ruling judge

Talor Gooch is one of three players not added to the field for the FedEx St Jude Championship

Talor Gooch is one of three players not added to the field for the FedEx St Jude Championship

Three LIV players looking to play in the FedEx Cup play-offs have failed to show “that they have been injured – let alone beyond repair”, the ruling judge said.

Judge Beth Labson Freeman said Tuesday that Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones were “well aware of the consequences” of their actions by participating in LIV events without permission and had not “admitted” against their suspension by the PGA Tour. as a result.

The ruling meant the trio were not added to the field for the FedEx St Jude Championship, the first of three play-off events that kicked off Thursday at TPC Southwind in Memphis, the same day the judge’s written ruling was released.

“Based on this evidence, the plaintiffs have not even shown that they were harmed – much less irreparably,” Freeman wrote.

“It is clear that the LIV Golf contracts negotiated by the plaintiffs and entered into between the parties were based on the players’ calculation of what they would leave behind and the amount of money they would need to make up for those losses.

“The plaintiffs have signed contracts which richly reward them for their skill and compensate for lost opportunities through TOUR play. In fact, the evidence shows almost without a doubt that they will make far more money with LIV Golf than they could have reasonably expected to win throughout the TOUR over the same period.”

Judge Freeman disagreed with the LIV players’ legal argument that not participating in the play-offs would cause them to suffer financial and reputational losses.

She wrote: “Claimants’ assertion that they will irretrievably lose future sponsorship opportunities and career status is undermined by Plaintiffs’ evidence that LIV Golf offers a refreshing new ‘extremely fan-friendly’ business model that will lead to” improved broadcasting and entertainment. experience’ compared to the old world of golf built by PGA TOUR.

“If LIV Golf is the future of elite golf, what do claimants care about trophies gathering dust from a bygone era?”

Rory McIlroy hailed a California federal judge's ruling that barred three LIV golfers from playing in the FedEx Cup playoffs

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Rory McIlroy hailed a California federal judge’s ruling that barred three LIV golfers from playing in the FedEx Cup playoffs

Rory McIlroy hailed a California federal judge’s ruling that barred three LIV golfers from playing in the FedEx Cup playoffs

It comes after Rory McIlroy praised the judge’s “common sense” decision to rule against the trio.

Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference, McIlroy said: “From my perspective, common sense prevailed and I thought it was the right decision.

“It just allows us to focus on the important things, which is golf. We can all move on and not have that sideshow for the next few weeks, which is good.”

Australia won't stop Saudi-backed LIV Series players from competing at home | Golf News

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