PGA of Australia boss to ‘welcome’ LIV Golf players to Australian events
PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman has confirmed that any LIV Golf players who wish to compete in Australian tournaments will be welcomed with open arms, according to Reuters.
Cameron Smith is currently Australia’s No. 1 player, ranking second in the Official World Golf Ranking after his first major title at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews last month, and he’s reportedly already struck a huge deal with LIV Golf after the Qualifiers of the FedEx Cup.
It is understood Smith, 28, will play at LIV Golf’s next tournament in Boston in early September.
Smith said “no comment” to the media when pressed on the subject during this week’s FedEx St Jude Championship on the PGA Tour, but then told Sky Sports Golf’s Nick Dougherty he was “ready to face” his decision.
The PGA Tour may have banned its defecting members from playing in the LIV Golf Invitational Series this season, but the PGA of Australia’s Kirkman doesn’t plan to do the same.
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While everyone is waiting for Smith to make an official decision on LIV Golf this month, four Australian players currently playing on LIV Golf are Wade Ormsby, Travis Smyth, Jediah Morgan and Matt Jones, the latter of whom was denied a temporary restraining order. in the FedEx Cup playoffs earlier this week.
Marc Leishman is also believed to be heavily linked with a move to LIV Golf, according to fellow Australian PGA Tour pro Cameron Percy.
“Players who go home to play, as long as there is no conflicting event, they will be welcome to play,” Kirkman said. Reuters.
“Australian players returning home from wherever they are playing at the moment, if they are members of our organization they will be eligible to play and that has been discussed with the other tours.”
The two flagship tournaments of the PGA Tour of Australia are the Australian PGA Championship (24-27 November) and the Australian Open (1-4 Australian Open) and they are both co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour.
Kirkman also shared his thoughts with Reuters on a possible first LIV golf tournament to be held in Australia next season in a new $405 million LIV golf league.
“Some people will love it and some people won’t, but if it’s Australia we need to be in a position where we stay focused on our strategy,” he said.
“Is it going to be good for the game? What I don’t want and what I don’t like to hear and read right now is people arguing about what’s good for the game and which is not.
“If (fans) go out and see golf in a different format, that’s up to them.”