New Open champion Cameron Smith ‘heads SIX more LIV rebels with Ryder Cup captain Stenson defecting’
New Open champion Smith ‘heads SIX more LIV rebels’: Ryder Cup captain Stenson and star Fleetwood ‘will join Saudi defectors THIS WEEK’… after angry Aussie snapped at reporter who quizzed him over move
- Cameron Smith became the first the first Open winner from Australia since 1993
- Celebrations soured when he was asked if he was joining rebel Saudi LIV tour
- There has been a frenzy of speculation around his future and many others
- Report has added to mounting speculation by saying he will be lead list of six players joining breakaway
- List is reportedly set to include Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson, English star Tommy Fleetwood and 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama
New Open champion Cameron Smith will reportedly become the latest player to drop a bombshell on the golfing world by heading a list of the six players set to become the latest recruits for the controversial LIV breakaway competition.
The Australian became the first player from his country to claim the famous Claret Jug since Greg Norman at Royal St George’s in 1993, pipping Rory McIlroy to glory on Sunday.
His celebrations however were soured when he clashed with a British journalist about joining the rebel Saudi LIV tour just minutes after his stunning victory in St Andrews.
There has been a frenzy of speculation around Smith and others – including Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson and English star Tommy Fleetwood – about their desire to join up with the Saudi-backed LIV Series.
And now a report has added to the mounting whirlwind by claiming Smith, 28, is set to follow up winning the most prestigious golf major by joining the breakaway tour headed by fellow Aussie Norman.
It claims he is set to be joined by another countryman in Marc Leishman.
Also among the fresh batch of rebels is Stenson, who is set to be stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy, just two months after he was announced as the skipper for the match against the US in Italy next year.
Stenson missed the cut at The Open by a single shot and would not be drawn on his future when asked about it on Friday, replying when asked about the makeup of his forthcoming schedule: ‘Undecided.’
Open champion Cameron Smith is reportedly set to join the LIV breakaway tour this week
The Australian became the first Open champion from his country since 1993 before seeing his celebrations soured
However, Swedish outlet Expressen claim the 2016 Open winner will arrive at Royal Troon on Monday, soon after which news is expected to follow that he will be the latest defector to LIV.
English star Tommy Fleetwood is also reportedly set to defect, after a report in The Times in June suggested his wife and manager, Clare Craig, was at the Centurion Club last month.
Double Masters winner Bubba Watson is also among the names being linked with the controversial LIV tour.
Meanwhile, The Mirror claim last year’s Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama will finalise his future next month after being targeted by LIV Golf.
Also among the fresh batch of rebels is Henrik Stenson, who is set to be stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy
English star Tommy Fleetwood is also reportedly set to defect to the breakaway tour
The report claims Smith is set to be joined by another countryman in Marc Leishman
The Japanese is reportedly considering his options after being approached by the Saudi-backed breakaway.
But should the world No 14 sign up to the breakaway, he would join fellow European stars Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Martin Kaymer and record Cup points-scorer Sergio Garcia.
Garcia confirmed on Sunday he will be formally resigning from the DP World Tour.
Those who have also signed up to the mega-money tour include six-times major champion Mickelson, former World No 1s Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka and former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.
Hideki Matsuyama has also been targeted and will reportedly finalise his future next month
Double Masters winner Bubba Watson is also among the names being linked with the controversial LIV tour
But the lead name in the latest list is Smith, who shot a total of 268 across his four rounds to finish 20 under par – the furthest under par a winner has finished in majors history and the lowest ever score at St Andrews.
However, he clashed with a reporter who asked him about joining the rebel Saudi LIV tour by saying: ‘I just won the British Open and you’re asking about that? I think that’s pretty, not that good.’
The breakaway series is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – the owners of Premier League outfit Newcastle United.
It has led to players facing criticism for taking part in the Saudi-backed tour due to the kingdom’s dismal human rights record, while detractors have also labelled the competition as ‘sportwashing’.
The breakaway series – headed by Greg Norman (right) – is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund
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