Cameron Smith has been confirmed as LIV Golf’s latest headline signing after six new players were announced for this week’s event in Boston.
The world No 2, who has long been rumoured to be joining the Saudi-backed breakaway tour, led by compatriot Greg Norman, won The Open in St Andrews this summer with a stunning display to fend off Rory McIlroy.
The 29-year-old, who has become the highest ranked player to defect from the PGA Tour, will be joined by fellow Australian Marc Leishman, Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Tringale, Harold Varner III and Anirban Lahiri.
The announcement comes ahead of the fourth of eight Invitational Series events, starting on Friday at The International Golf Club in Bolton, Massachusetts.
LIV Golf returns after a month since former Team Europe Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson’s win at Trump National.
Smith and Niemann are automatic qualifiers for the International Team at this year’s Presidents Cup.
But the pair will now vacate their spots and will soon be suspended from the PGA Tour.
Both Smith and Niemann played in the season finale Tour Championship to conclude the FedEx Cup last week, finishing 20th and tied-11th.
Not among the newest additions to LIV Golf is Niemann’s compatriot Mito Pereira, who posted on social media about being “happy and honored” to play for the International Team at the Presidents Cup.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed in Atlanta last week that LIV Golf members would not be allowed to return to the PGA Tour.
“No,” Monahan said. “They’ve joined the LIV Golf Series, and they’ve made that commitment. For most of them, they’ve made multiyear commitments. As I’ve been clear throughout, every player has a choice, and I respect their choice, but they’ve made it. We’ve made ours. We’re going to continue to focus on the things that we control and get stronger and stronger. I think they understand that.”
“As it relates to any of the scenarios for LIV players and coming back, I’ll remind you that we’re in a lawsuit. They’ve sued us. I think talking about any hypotheticals at this point doesn’t make a lot of sense.”