Warmly congratulated by his compatriot Greg Norman, the winner of The Open, Cameron Smith, could join the LIV Golf Invitational Series in the next few hours. The rumor of a departure of Henrik Stenson, who at the same time would give up his position as Captain of the Ryder Cup, also continues to swell.
If it is confirmed the blow is coarse.
Barely crowned in The Open, Cameron Smith could leave the PGA Tour and join the dissident circuit of Greg Norman.
Smith kicks into touch
At the post-victory conference in St Andrews, Australia, all smiles refused to deny reports that sent him onto the exposure circuit funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).
“I just won the British Open, and you’re asking me about it. I think that’s not very good… I don’t know, man. My team around me is in charge of all that. My role is to win golf tournaments.” he replied when a journalist asked him if he was interested in LIV Golf.
By offering himself the new world number 2, Greg Norman could deal a fatal blow to the historic circuits which seem helpless in the face of the financial power of their enemy.
Stenson a meaningful silence
For his part, Henrik Stenson, winner of The Open in 2016 in Troon and appointed captain of the European Ryder Cup selection in March, would indeed be starting.
Speculation surrounding the announcement of his departure next week is rife, as explained by the daily expressen.se. “We will keep you informed of the evolution” wrote a LIV spokesperson in an email.
Present at St Andrews, Stenson declined to comment.
Despite his status as a former Ryder Cup winner and captain, he was treated by the R&A like most LIV players. He was not entitled to a press conference and played the first two rounds with anonymous players.
Add to that the economic interests of Stensons Golf Design, the Swede’s architectural firm involved in several large-scale projects in Saudi Arabia and which hopes to build a large number of courses there.
If the information of his departure is proven, he will probably be replaced by the English Luke Donald at the head of the European for the 2023 edition in Rome.