Cameron Smith put forth an incredible effort on the final day of the Open Championship and walked away with his first major victory. Today's discourse, however, is less focused on Smith's achievement and more on what he might do next. Like, say, join the LIV tour.
Over the weekend, rumors popped up that Smith may defect from the PGA like many of his peers, likely in exchange for a massive paycheck. The rumors solidified themselves today as multiple sites aggregated information that Smith could be the next big name to join LIV. The problem with it all is that it's really unclear how these rumors got started in the first place.
Barstool Sports wrote about it on Sunday night and aggregated a Reuters article. The Reuters article in question aggregated Sky Sports. We think. Because the Reuters article is rather vague about what the report actually was and didn't include a link to the initial report, which apparently came from Sky Sports. Here's what Reuters said:
July 17 (Reuters) - Newly-crowned British Open champion Cameron Smith reacted angrily when asked if he was on the verge of joining the highly-lucrative LIV Golf Invitational Series but reports suggest the Australian is among many players who are about to jump ship.
"I just won the British Open and you are asking about that?" Smith told reporters. "That is not that good. My team around me worry about that stuff. I am here to win golf tournaments."
Sky Sports also reported that Henrik Stenson will be axed as Ryder Cup captain as he too is expected to join the highly controversial breakaway series that is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).
British media reported that others expected to join the LIV roster include Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman.
And... that's it. Just a bunch of journalistic buzz words that suggest a report was made but lacking tangible details on the report itself.
Some investigative Googling on the part of The Big Lead found the Sky Sports report that started all this buzz. It is a video in which reporter Jamie Weir said Smith's name keeps coming up while talking to other journalists about who will be the next to join LIV.
"Cameron Smith is a name that has been mentioned heavily as joining LIV Golf, and there's no smoke without fire. Speaking to other golf journalists, other golf reporters on the grind this week, it is a name you keep hearing... And he's not the only name, either. His fellow countrymen, Mark Leishman and Adam Scott, all three of them potentially jumping ship after the President's Cup at Quail Hollow later this year. And this is a big one. I have it on good authority that Europe's Ryder Cup captain, Henrik Stenson, could be announced very soon indeed."
In case you didn't guess already, Weir is the journalist who asked Smith about LIV during his post-round press conference alongside his new trophy. Smith wasn't a fan of the question.
So there you have it. All this started because Weir kept hearing Smith's name all weekend at St. Andrew's as a potential LIV candidate and figures there is no smoke without fire. Aggregation can be a confusing game.