More players are leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf, according to a recent report from Sports Illustrated. Six golfers have decided to make the jump, including 2022 Open Championship winner Cameron Smith.
Smith is the most notable player of the latest bunch to leave the PGA Tour for the new startup league. Along with him, Harold Varner III, Joaquin Niemann, Marc Leishman, Anirban Lahiri and Cameron Tringale are also joining LIV.
That group joins other big-time players, such as Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson to join LIV Golf. The newest bunch of defectors are expected to make the announcement official next week.
Smith claimed his first major championship this year, surging in the final round and defeating Cameron Young and Rory McIlroy to claim this season’s Claret Jug. He’s also the highest-ranked player to join LIV.
Smith has six PGA Tour victories to his name during his career. But with LIV likely offering a strong contract, he’s deciding to take the money and leave the old league behind.
The news comes as the PGA Tour closes out its regular season at the Tour Championship in Atlanta. It marks the end of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy Attempt to Counter LIV Golf
With so many big names in golf defecting from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are making moves to keep the legendary tour going. That includes launching a new tech-infused league, beginning in 2024.
The league, TGL, will show off some of the technological advances in the game of golf. It will be a team-play setting and will take place on Monday nights, with every shot being completed in less than two hours.
Below are renderings of the tech-infused golf league — headed by McIlroy and Woods:
Is the growth of this new league enough to counter the intrigue of LIV Golf’s setup? Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see. But kudos to McIlroy and Woods for thinking outside the box.
The new tech-infused league also comes the same week as PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced major changes coming for upcoming seasons. One of the biggest alterations is identifying the top-20 players on tour and including those individuals in more events throughout the year.
LIV forced the PGA Tour to change its line of thinking. It’s still early in the process, but the league has shown it’s willing to make some alterations in order to compete with the startup.