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Cameron Smith tells how Rory McIlroy tried to hold him off the PGA Tour

Back in Australia after 3 years away from his native land, Cameron Smith told a Sydney newspaper how Rory McIlroy tried to convince him not to go to LIV Golf hours after winning The Open at St Andrews.

Last chance phone call.

That’s probably what he thought Rory McIlroy by dialing the number Cameron Smith 48 hours after seeing the Australian steal the show in The Open at St Andrews as he tried to end an 8-year Major drought.

There were a lot of things he wanted me to know before I made my decision. I wouldn’t say he tried to talk me out of it directly, but he really wanted me to stay.

Cameron Smith

Two days after lifting the Claret Jug, Cam Smith tells the Sydney Morning Herald having received a phone call from his unfortunate adversary.

“I’ve always had respect for Rory and appreciate the way he talks on the golf course. When he called me, he began by congratulating me on my victory. He slipped me a few jokes and he was happy with my victory. Then we talked about the PGA Tour a you LIV », Smith recounted.

Asked all week about rumors of his departure to the dissident circuit led by his compatriot Greg Normanthe winner of Players Championship in Ponte Vedra (Florida) a few months earlier had not stopped kicking in touch, explaining that he was there to play a Major tournament and that he would not answer these questions.

No one doubted the imminent departure of Cam Smith and Rory McIlroy hoped to be able to convince him to reconsider his decision.

“There were a lot of things he wanted me to know before making my decision. I wouldn’t say he tried to talk me out of it directly, but he really wanted me to stay. »

Proposition vs Proposition

The player with the “mule” cut also explains that he took the time to weigh the pros and cons. In particular, he called Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour boss, to ask him what he intended to do for golf in Australia. Were there in the plans of the PGA Tour tournaments in his native country?

Greg Norman had explained to him that he would organize a LIV tournament in Australia and that Smith would be the main player of a team made up of 100% “Wallabies”.

For his part, Monahan could not promise anything other than his desire to create a stage of the Korn Ferry Tour in Australia.

“For me, the PGA Tour is a great platform. It’s a great circuit that does some very good things. But looking back, when I see that with Adam Scott, who was one of the best golfers in the world for 20 years, there was nothing to organize here, I find that really weird. Then there was Jason Day et Marc Leishman. I just don’t think it’s profitable enough for the PGA Tour. »

A last tournament at the end of August

The discussions between Smith and the LIV ended up culminating at the end of August with a proposal of more than 100 million dollars which Cam Smith did not resist. After a final tournament on the PGA Tour during the final stage of the FedEx Cup in Atlanta, the Australian has joined the circuit financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

He won his second tournament and pocketed $4 million for his individual victory.

Photo © Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

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