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#pounditFriday, March 24, 2023

Cameron Smith withdraws from BMW Championship amid LIV rumors

Cameron Smith picks up his ball

January 14, 2022; Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Cameron Smith acknowledges the crowd after making his putt on the 10th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

If the rumors that Cameron Smith is leaving the PGA Tour at the end of the season are true, the Australian superstar may have only one tournament left to play before making his exit.

Smith’s agent, Bud Martin, announced on Monday that Smith has withdrawn from the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. Martin said Smith has been dealing with hip soreness for weeks and felt it was best to rest as he tries to win the FedExCup Playoffs.

Smith is currently third in the FexExCup standings. The top 30 advance to the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta next week, so he should have no problem qualifying. His road to winning the title will be a lot more difficult now, however.

Some have speculated that Smith is trying to make a statement after he was assessed a two-stroke penalty at the FedEx St. Jude Championship over the weekend. The penalty was announced on Sunday and was the result of “improper placement of the ball” during the third round the day before. A PGA rules official noticed that Smith played a shot that may have been on the red penalty line following a drop, which is not legal. The official, Gary Young, said the ball was “really close to the line, if not touching the line.” Young said he asked Smith about the shot and and Smith said his ball was touching the line.

“When I asked him the question, unfortunately he said to me, ‘No, the ball was definitely touching the line.’ So at that point, there’s no turning back,” Young explained. “That was the moment I know the player has knowledge the ball is touching the line. He just simply didn’t understand the rule, that it requires the entire ball to be outside the penalty area and in his relief area.”

There was also an incident during the opening round on Thursday where Scottie Scheffler seemed to send a message to Smith by violating one of golf’s unwritten rules.

Smith reportedly has a $100 million offer to join the LIV Series. The 28-year-old was asked last week about the rumors that he plans to sign with LIV after the FedExCup Playoffs, and he did not exactly deny it.


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