It was a day that could be summarized by a single club. During the final round of the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews, Rory McIlroy couldn’t buy a putt, while Cam Smith made everything he looked at.
The result was a chase-down win by the Aussie with McIlroy leaving another 2022 major with a top-10 finish but without the hardware.
Two days after hoisting the Claret Jug, Smith received a phone call from the Northern Irishman and the conversation, unsurprinsgly, eventually centered around LIV Golf.
“I’ve always had respect for Rory, and I’ve liked what he says on the golf course,” Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald before this week’s Fortinet Australian PGA Championship. “He said, ‘Congrats.’ There were maybe a couple of little jabs in there. He was happy I played well and it was a good tournament. Then we talked about the PGA Tour and LIV.
“There was a bunch of stuff he wanted me to know before I made my decision. I wouldn’t say he tried to directly talk me out of it, but he definitely wanted me to stay.”
During his post-victory press conference at the Open, Smith faced questions about LIV and rumors he was bound for the Saudi-backed league. Talks about his future continued through the Tour Championship in August and, finally, LIV officially announced Smith as a new member on August 30.
Smith debuted with a fifth place finish in Boston before winning the Chicago stop.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek