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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Cameron Smith says money not main reason he signed with LIV

Cameron Smith hits a drive

Jun 10, 2022; Etobicoke, Ontario, CAN; Cameron Smith hits his tee shot at the fifth hole during the second round of the RBC Canadian Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Smith was one of several former PGA Tour players who officially joined LIV Golf on Tuesday. Most of the golfers who have signed with the new Saudi-backed league did so for financial reasons. While that was certainly a draw for Smith, he insists it was not the biggest one.

Report have indicated that LIV paid Smith somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. The 29-year-old told Golf Digest’s Evin Priest that money was “definitely a factor,” but he said the schedule was even more important to him.

“The biggest thing for me joining is [LIV’s] schedule is really appealing,” Smith said. “I’ll be able to spend more time at home in Australia and maybe have an event down there, as well. I haven’t been able to do that, and to get that part of my life back was really appealing.”

Smith said he enjoys living in the U.S. but has always wanted more time to travel home to Australia.

“I’ve lived over here seven years now, and I love living in the U.S., but just little things like missing friends’ weddings, birthday parties and seeing your mates having a great time at rugby league games has been tough,” he added.

Smith and fellow Aussie Marc Leishman were two of the players who signed with LIV after the PGA Tour season concluded. Smith said that should make it appealing for LIV to host a tournament in Australia, which the league may do in 2023.

At least one of Smith’s peers appeared to send him a strong message about his decision to leave the PGA Tour. It does not sound like the reigning British Open champion is letting any of that bother him.

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