Australia’s latest major winner, Cameron Smith, is “gone” to the LIV Golf Series at the end of the PGA playoffs, according to fellow Aussie golfer Cameron Percy.
- Cameron Smith last month took issue with being asked about rumors tying him with LIV
- Tour veteran Cameron Percy says Smith and Marc Leishman are joining the Saudi-backed tour
- Percy says LIV representatives approached Adam Scott in 2017
Percy said Smith, 28, and another Australian, Marc Leishman, had already signed deals to exit the PGA Tour.
“Unfortunate[ly]Yeah, they’re gone,” Percy told RSN radio.
Smith was infamously asked about his intentions immediately after winning his first major at St Andrews last month, and refused to answer, taking issue with the question even being asked.
“I just won the British Open and you’re asking about that. I think that’s pretty … not that good,” he said.
“I don’t know, mate,” he added.
“My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”
LIV is backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which has ties to the Saudi government, and there are concerns the tour is being used as soft diplomacy for it.
Percy said the humanitarian record of the Saudi government should be of concern to players signing with the breakaway tour.
“The more and more you look into it, some people don’t care, some people have got a conscience and do care,” he said.
“It really comes down to, you know, ‘They just executed 80 people this week, just chopped their heads off’. They’re not the nicest people in the world.
“Do you just look past that and go, ‘Oh well, I’m rich, I don’t really care’? It’s a tough one, it really is.”
Percy, 48, finished in the top 10 at the Wyndham Championship last week, just ahead of the start of the FedEx Playoffs this week.
Percy said a conversation with Adam Scott, who is on the record saying he would consider a move to LIV, helped open the eyes of his fellow countrymen to the new tour.
Percy also said the deals for Smith and 38-year-old Leishman, currently ranked 56th in the world, were lucrative.
Fox Sports reported Smith was offered more than $US100 million ($144 million).
“[Scott] said he met with [LIV] in 2017 — they were ready [to] do all this. So, the tour has known for a long time that this stuff is in the works,” Percy said.