Cameron Smith open to a return to merged golf tours

Darren Walton |

Aussie Cameron Smith still harbours hopes of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf one day coming together.
Aussie Cameron Smith still harbours hopes of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf one day coming together.

Australian golf superstar Cameron Smith is open to a return to a unified world tour – but not necessarily if it means playing more.

Smith is one of the biggest names plying his trade these days on the LIV Golf circuit, after defecting from the PGA Tour just weeks after winning the landmark 150th British Open at St Andrews in 2022 and rising to world No.2.

With former world No.1 and reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm this year joining Smith and fellow major winners including Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson on the Saudi-back tour, unification talks have intensified.

After months of feuding, the PGA Tour first announced a surprise merger with LIV last June “to unify the game of golf”.

“The whole process is probably taking a little bit longer than everyone anticipated,” Smith told Australian reporters on a zoom conference call from his Florida base on Tuesday.

“But there’s also a lot of stuff to work out and I haven’t asked too many questions about what’s going to happen, but I’m guessing that there will have to be sacrifices probably on both sides if we want that all to happen.

“There’s no reason there can’t be from where I sit.”

Smith suspects “a lot of spectators and fans that desperately want it to happen too”.

“So hopefully just through some determination they can get to a resolve pretty soon,” he said.

Cameron Smith.
Cameron Smith admires a shot at the recent LIV Golf Hong Kong. (AP PHOTO)

But the fishing lover conceded one of the major appeals of the LIV league is the lighter tournament schedule and he’s unsure about committing to a return to more events.

“There’s a lot of really happy guys on our side,” Smith said ahead of next week’s Masters at Augusta National.

“For myself, I’ve probably probably got another four or five weeks off every year the last couple of years and been able to spend more time in Australia.

“I don’t know if I’m willing to sacrifice being away from my family and stuff as much as I had in the past, especially given the (enjoyment of the) last couple of years. It’s been so nice.

“So I don’t really know if it means playing more. I think it’s going to be a tough sell.

“There’s a lot of guys on both sides that don’t play that much and, if they had to play more, I’m not sure how happy everyone would be.

“So I don’t know if that’s the resolve.”

Speaking candidly, Smith said he wasn’t worrying too much about a reconciliation of the two most lucrative tours. 

“I’m a golfer. I just want to play golf and I’m happy playing out here and whatever comes of it, comes of it,” he said.

“But I’m not sure playing more golf would be the answer.”

Cameron Smith.
Cameron Smith enjoying himself at last year’s LIV event in New Jersey. (AP PHOTO)

Either way, the 30-year-old will get the best of both worlds not only when the game’s best players come back together at the Masters and the season’s other three majors in coming months.

But also at LIV Golf Adelaide at Grange Golf Club from April 26-28.

“It was probably a unanimous decision on the whole tour that that was the best event that we had (last year),” Smith said.

“I think everyone really enjoyed it and everyone’s looking forward to getting back down there.

“I’ve had a couple of the boys complain to me about how long it takes to get down there but, if it’s for the best event of the year, they’ll happily get down there.”