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Cam Smith heckled over LIV Golf links during first FedEx Cup Playoff event

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Amidst mass speculation that he will soon sign for the LIV Golf series, earlier this week Cameron Smith insisted, “My goal here is to win the FedEx Cup Playoffs. That’s all I’m here for.”

That has not stopped the recent Open Championship winner being on the receiving end of continuous questioning by reporters, despite fellow Aussie Cameron Percy backing down on his initial claim that Smith and Marc Leishman were ‘gone.’

After a first round 67 at the first of the FedEx play-off events at Sedgefield, Sky Golf presenter Nick Dougherty asked the 28-year-old if he understood why there was so much reporting on the subject.

As has been his way, Smith continued to bat away the notion that he was on his way after the Playoffs, but accepted why it was big news for the golf reporters.

“That’s just their job – that’s what they’re there to do. They’re there to sell stories, and I’m sure they’ve had a few looks at it the last few days.”

He recognised what may happen in the immediate future, “You know I’m ready to cop some heat … but like I said I’m here to win the FedEx Cup Playoffs – that’s my number one goal and whatever happens after that will come from me.”

The heat continued on the course during his third round of the FedEx St. Jude, with Memphis News’ Mark Giannotto tweeting the reaction of some of the crowd, with the Aussie on the end of some heckling during the opening Playoff event.

Reaction differed between support and distrust, feelings summed up by one reply that read, “If he goes to LIV, it shows $ are his main motivation rather than titles & standing in the game. As an Aussie, it’s disappointing. But let’s not forget, the PGA tour does nothing for golf in countries like Australia. Some effort to develop a world tour may have helped counter LIV.”

However, according to Australian news site nine.com.au the 28-year-old world number two could turn the episode into one where he becomes a hero from the jaws of villainy.

Talking to Sports Sunday, Nine’s regular roundup of world sports, former Aussie cricket captain Mark Taylor suggested Smith could turn this into a force for good for his homeland’s golf programme.

“There’s no doubt there’s a bit of reputational damage at the moment … but I want to go in and bat for him,” Taylor said.

“It’s a lot tougher for the non-Americans with this LIV Golf. As an Australian golfer or a South African golfer, you’ve got to make the big move to the (United) States to become a PGA Tour regular.”

“That’s what Adam Scott has done, that’s what Greg Norman did many years ago, so it’s tougher for those guys to commit full time to the PGA Tour when there’s another option which is also talking about moving events to Australia.”

“If Cameron Smith moves to LIV, yes, there will be some reputational damage, but I think he can make it work for him.”

Seeing the upside to the ‘investment’ into Australian golf, Taylor suggested the player himself takes advantage.

“LIV are already talking about having three tournaments in Australia and the Australian golf tour is nowhere near what it used to be. This influx of money from LIV will be great for Australian golf. I’d love to see Cameron Smith buy into it.”

“If I was his manager, I’d say, ‘Well if you’re going to sign up for this amount of money, put 10-20 per cent of it into Australian golf and buy in and get Australian golf back to where it used to be.”

“If he does that, it’ll be a win for him and a win for Australian golf. I think eventually LIV, the PGA, they’ll get back together in some form or another and I think it’ll be a win-win for him and Australian golf.”

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8 Comments

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  1. Pingback: Report: Draft copy of LIV contract reveals fascinating key details – GolfWRX

  2. Mashed Potatoes

    Aug 16, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    So now its cool to yell at players? Im confused

  3. Pingback: The awesome fan gesture from Cam Smith that went unnoticed in Memphis – GolfWRX

  4. Mike

    Aug 15, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Don’t see why joe-fan would heckle him. Is Cam’s payoff coming out of his pocket? If I were Cam I’d just smile at the guy…100 million times.

  5. GMatt

    Aug 15, 2022 at 11:57 am

    I hope Cam takes it all

  6. Pingback: Justin Thomas slams Will Zalatoris’ mentor for ‘egregious and aggressive’ tweets attacking NBC duo – GolfWRX

  7. Pingback: PGA Tour Chief Referee explains decision to penalize Cam Smith before Memphis final round – GolfWRX

  8. LOLZ

    Aug 15, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Heckled by a rules official.

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19th Hole

Shane Lowry and Justin Thomas take shots at Bryson’s awkward attempt to own viral rope incident

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“If you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?”

According to those search engines, both quotes can be attributed to an awful lot of people over the years, including golf legends Payne Stewart and Tiger Woods.

Sometimes, though, others don’t find it as funny.

A week ago, we reported on a viral video from LIV Chicago that showed Bryson DeChambeau losing a battle with one of the gallery ropes .

Despite the histrionics and the supposed loss of vision in one eye, he completed the event at 6-under, and finishing in the top 10.

The incident brought more attention to the tour than anything Chicago winner Cam Smith could do, and the 2020 U.S Open winner probably thought he was onto a winner when recreating the event in a re-run of Bryson v Rope.

In it, the 29-year-old prepares for the challenge like a pro boxer, before ducking under the rope with no personal damage – to the whoops of the ‘onlookers’.

It was a bit of fun, but recent BMW PGA champion, and 2022 Masters third, Shane Lowry, wasn’t at all impressed.

The 2019 Open Championship winner has always stayed fairly neutral about the Greg Norman-led tour, but there was never a doubt that he was fully behind his good friend Rory McIlroy with his views.

However, after the win at Wentworth, Lowry was a tad more open with his views:

“I just think [LIV Golf] is bad for the game. I have always said I play for trophies, not for money. That’s why I didn’t entertain it, to be honest. The reason I have never even contemplated it is I don’t think it is good for the game.”

Whilst we can’t be sure if this had any effect on his Twitter post today, it was clear what he thinks of DeChambeau’s latest stunt:

Then JT got involved and made it clear what camp he was in…

The long-standing Dunhill Links weather is always unpredictable, but home players seem to thrive whatever the conditions.

What is definite is that Lowry will not stomach much more of the clownery on show, and probably won’t be cheering Bryson on as he reached the last 64 of the World’s Longest Drive Championship.

Just as we thought things might have been calming down…..

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19th Hole

Why Phil Mickelson decided to drop out of lawsuit against PGA Tour

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Whatever the whys and wherefores, the disputes and disagreements, the one thing the LIV series has done is get people thinking.

Much water has crossed under the bridge and a recap could go on for many hours, but it remains that something somewhere caused the PGA Tour to look at a revised schedule.

Behind all this were a number of court cases, the first being 16 players fighting their cause against a DP World Tour ban, before 11 PGA Tour players sought temporary injunctions against the tour, seeking allowance into the FedEx Cup.

Since then,  Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak, Carlos Ortiz and Pat Perez have dropped out of the suit, the trial scheduled to commence in 2024, and now four more have fallen by the wayside.

Those four are Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, and more vitally, Phil Mickelson.

The idea of a series challenging the golf status quo was always in the mind of Greg Norman and his backers, and Lefty was certainly the one player that launched the idea into orbit, after a revealing interview with golf writer Alan Shipnuck.

That now leaves just three of the original 11 – Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Jones and Peter Uihlein – who are still being backed by LIV Golf.

The organization released a recent statement, commenting:

“Nothing has changed,’” confirmed LIV. “The merits of the lawsuit—the PGA Tour’s anti-competitive conduct—still stand and will be fully tested in court, and we look forward to it.”

The statement confirmed the reasons why they believe they have a strong case.

“We stand by the players who the PGA Tour has treated so poorly, but we also recognize to be successful we no longer need a wide variety of players to be on the suit. We have our players’ backs and will press our case in court against the PGA’s anti-competitive behavior.”

Losing the bigger names might be a blow to the plaintiff’s case, and Mickelson’s comments were always going to be of interest.

Lefty explained the reasons for his withdrawal to Sports Illustrated:

“I am focused on moving forward and extremely happy being a part of LIV, while also grateful for my time on the (PGA) Tour. I am pleased that the players on Tour are finally being heard, respected and valued and are benefitting from the changes recently implemented.”

He summed up:

“With LIV’s involvement in these issues, the players’ rights will be protected and I no longer feel it is necessary for me to be part of the proceedings.”

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19th Hole

Patrick Reed includes three golf journalists in fresh defamation lawsuit

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Last month, Patrick Reed filed a defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee. The suit has since been withdrawn, but the former Masters champion isn’t done yet.

Reed has just filed a new lawsuit against golf journalists Damon Hack, Shane Bacon and Eamon Lynch. In addition to the writers, the suit includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour and their commissioners Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley.

The suit alleges that those mentioned are guilty of “conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and tortious interference”.

The lawsuit is a whopping 96-pages long and it lists 42 “causes of action.” The causes of action include “a pattern and practice of defaming Mr. Reed.”

“These malicious attacks have created hate, aided and abetted a hostile workplace environment, and have caused substantial financial and emotional damage and harm to Mr. Reed and his family,” Reed’s attorney Larry Klayman said in a statement.

The suit claims that the defendants have cost Reed opportunities at multi-million-dollar sponsorships over the course of his career.

The documents also allege that the defendants have been “intentionally and maliciously destroying” the reputation and sales of Reed and his wife’s company, grindworksUSA, which distributes golf equipment made by the Chinese company.

Reed was set to tee it up at the Alfred Dunhill Links this week, but was forced to withdraw due to back issues resulting from a soft mattress at a French hotel.

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