LIV Golf has lured the world’s second-ranked golfer, which now gives the upstart series over a quarter of the top 100.
Cameron Smith, second to only Scottie Scheffler in the World Golf Rankings, is joining the Saudi-backed tour, along with Joaquin Niemann (19th), Harold Varner III (46th), Cameron Tringale (55th), Marc Leishman (62nd), and Anirban Lahiri (92nd).
- LIV Golf now has 26 of the world’s top 100 golfers under contract.
- Smith’s deal is reportedly for at least $100 million.
- The announcement follows the completion of the PGA Tour season, capped by LIV critic Rory McIlroy’s victory at the Tour Championship, which lifted him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings and netted him $18 million.
Hideki Matsuyama, Japan’s top player and 16th worldwide, is staying with the PGA Tour for now after turning down an offer that may have been between $300 million and $400 million.
The PGA Tour’s next season will feature 12 events in the FedEx Cup regular season with an average prize purse of $20 million, as it seeks to counter the rise of LIV Golf. It’s also doubling the total payout of its Player Impact Program to $100 million.
In what may be the most intriguing development on the horizon, Tiger Woods and McIlroy are working with the PGA Tour to develop a new, tech-enabled golf league that will be played in stadiums.