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Cameron Smith exits BMW Championship with hip pain

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — British Open champion Cameron Smith pulled out of the BMW Championship on Monday with what his manager described as “hip discomfort” that Smith had been experiencing for a few months.

Smith is No. 3 in the FedEx Cup, assured of a spot in the Tour Championship next week in Atlanta, although the withdrawal means he will start at least three strokes behind when the FedEx Cup Final begins.

“He has been suffering from hip and exterior discomfort for several months and thought it best to rest this week in his pursuit of the FedEx Cup,” Bud Martin, his agent at Wasserman, said in a statement. communicated.

The Australian, who turns 29 this week, was the center of attention last week in Memphis, Tennessee, beyond his golf.

First, the Daily Telegraph reported that Smith was joining Saudi-funded LIV Golf after the FedEx Cup qualifiers, which Smith again chose not to discuss. The report came the same day a California federal judge ruled against three LIV Golf players seeking a temporary restraining order to let them play in the tour playoffs.

Then Smith trailed by two strokes after the third round and needed to win to reach No. 1 in the world rankings. But just over an hour before his start of the final round, Smith was penalized two shots for playing a shot after a penalty drop while the ball was still touching the danger line.

Smith confirmed the ball touched the line. The timing was awkward because the breach happened a day later than it could have.

Smith was playing for the first time since turning 64 on the final day at St. Andrews to win his first major. He told Golf Digest that his hip can act in mild conditions. The TPC Southwind was pounded by rain earlier this week.

“My hip burst yesterday. It seems to happen when there are softer fairways like there were earlier in the week,” Smith told Golf Digest. and I’ll check with my team to see if we need another one.”

He plans to be in East Lake next week chasing the $18 million prize for winning the FedEx Cup.

The No. 1 seed starts the Tour championship at 10 under par and a two-shot lead. The No. 3 seed starts at 7 under par, the No. 4 seed is 6 under, and the No. 5 seed starts five strokes behind.

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