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Rory McIlroy doesn’t want the PGA Tour to lose anyone to LIV Golf, so when rumors circulated that Cam Smith, the No. 2 player in the world, may jump to the Saudi-backed league he was sure to have a conversation with the Aussie.
Reported indicate Smith has signed a deal with LIV Golf for around $100 million and will join the circuit following this week’s Tour Championship. Smith was asked about the report two weeks ago ahead of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, stating “my goal here is to win the FedEx Cup playoffs, that’s all I’m here for, I have no comment on that.”
Prior to that, and just after winning The Open at St. Andrews, Smith didn’t shut down the rumors.
“I just won the British Open, and you’re asking about that. I think that’s pretty not that good,” Smith said. “Don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”
Rory McIlroy’s Talk With Cam Smith
Two days after The Open and Smith making his head-scratching comments, McIlroy had a conversation with the 29-year-old.
“Firstly I wanted to congratulate him, but also, guys that are thinking one way or another, honestly I don’t care if they leave or not, it’s not gonna make a difference to me, but I would at least like people to make a decision that is completely informed and basically know this is what’s coming down the pipeline, this is what you may be leaving behind,” McIlroy said Wednesday ahead of the Tour Championship.
“I just don’t want people making decisions, hearing information from one side and not from another. That’s sort of been my whole thing this entire time – I’ve always said this, guys can do whatever they want, guys can make a decision that they feel is best for themselves and for their families, but I just love guys to make decisions on all of the facts, and sometimes I don’t feel some guys made those decisions based on having all the facts in front of them.”
It sounds like McIlroy knew Smith was considering a move to LIV Golf. The conversation may have been too late, however, based on the report that Smith signed with LIV.
As for what McIlroy mentioned what was “coming down the pipeline” for the PGA Tour, commissioner Jay Monahan laid out changes to the Tour’s structure.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris