Open champion Cam Smith among latest PGA Tour players to join LIV Golf Series

World No 2, the highest-ranked golfer to sign up for the breakaway circuit, debuts this week in Boston

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Open champion Cam Smith has been confirmed as LIV Golf’s latest high-profile signing, as six more players were announced for this week’s event in Boston.

The world No 2, long linked with a money-spinning move to the new series, becomes the highest-ranked player to leave the PGA Tour.

Smith, 29, won The Open at St Andrews in July – his first major victory – when his stellar Sunday pipped the likes of Rory McIlroy to the Claret Jug.

The Australian was on Tuesday confirmed for LIV Golf, alongside compatriot Marc Leishman, world No 19 Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Tringale, Harold Varner III and Anirban Lahiri.

All six players are expected to tee it up at The International Golf Club in Boston, Massachusetts, on Friday – the fourth of the eight International Series events. The 48-man field carries a prize fund of $25 million.

Henrik Stenson, who was stripped of the 2023 European Ryder Cup captaincy for joining LIV Golf, won last month’s tournament – his debut – at Trump National.

At present, players competing in the LIV series are banned from playing in PGA Tour events, although Europe’s DP World Tour has temporarily lifted suspensions on LIV Golf members.

Last week, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterated that the ban on his circuit would be upheld despite major changes to the game’s lead tour.

“They’ve joined the LIV Golf Series, and they’ve made that commitment,” Monahan said in Atlanta. “For most of them, they’ve made multi-year 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.”

Smith and Niemann are automatic qualifiers for the International Team at this year’s Presidents Cup. However, they will have to vacate their places and will be suspended from the PGA Tour once they hit a ball in tournament play in Boston.

Updated: August 30, 2022, 2:16 PM