Cameron Smith says his decision to join LIV Golf, a move made official on Tuesday after weeks of speculation, was motivated by the desire to spend several months each year in his native Australia.
Reached on the phone by Golf Digest, Smith did not shy away from admitting LIV’s guaranteed-money offer was one of the reasons behind his choice to leave the PGA Tour, where he has won six times. He did not disclose the value of his LIV deal when asked, although reports have pegged it at more than $100 million. “[Money] was definitely a factor in making that decision, I won’t ignore that or say that wasn’t a reason,” Smith said. “It was obviously a business decision for one and an offer I couldn’t ignore.”
But the mullet-wearing Smith, who has earned $27 million during his eight years on tour, insists money was not the biggest lure—rather the opportunity to spend up to three months a year in Australia. It is believed LIV Golf’s offseason will run from late October, when its last 2022 event in Miami is scheduled, until mid-February 2023.
“The biggest thing for me joining is [LIV’s] schedule is really appealing,” Smith said. “I’ll be able to spend more time at home in Australia and maybe have an event down there, as well. I haven’t been able to do that, and to get that part of my life back was really appealing.”
Smith moved to the U.S. in 2015 while securing Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour. That was the second year of the tour’s wraparound schedule and since then Smith has only been able to travel home for a couple of weeks at the end of each year to play the Australian Open and PGA Championship, the latter of which he has won twice.
“I’ve lived over here seven years now, and I love living in the U.S., but just little things like missing friends’ weddings, birthday parties and seeing your mates having a great time at rugby league games has been tough,” he said.
There is also a likelihood Australia will …….