Open champion Cameron Smith isn’t the only big name heavily linked with a move away from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf this week.
Smith engraved his name on the famous Claret Jug for the first time in his career at St Andrews on Sunday as the Australian now moves up to second in the Official World Golf Ranking.
But despite his latest success, all talk off the back of his first major win has been about a potential move to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational series.
Colt Knost, on-course commentator and former PGA Tour pro, tweeted last night that Smith had been offered “$90 million” to join Greg Norman’s LIV Golf Tour.
It is understood that Tuesday will be the day LIV Golf announces new signings ahead of its next event in Bedminster at the end of the month.
LIV Golf will clearly do everything in their power to tempt Smith, but they are also reportedly filing offers for Smith’s compatriot Marc Leishman, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and former Open champion and 2023 Europe Ryder Cup captain (at least for now) Henrik Stenson.
The latter would be a huge step forward for LIV Golf if they could indeed remove a Ryder Cup captain from the table.
If Stenson were to move to LIV Golf, he would lose his Ryder Cup captaincy.
There’s absolutely no way LIV Golf will want Henrik Stenson as ‘the player’. They want him as “the European captain of the Ryder Cup”. It is a coup de force.
— Andy Roberts (@AndyRobertsGolf) July 18, 2022
Henrik Stenson is set to be stripped of his Ryder Cup captaincy and join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.pic.twitter.com/rQjXdVV0lc
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) July 18, 2022
Leishman and Watson have barely set the world on fire with their form lately, so making some easy cash on LIV Golf would likely offer plenty of appeal for both players, but we’ll have to see what happens there. .
Matsuyama has had some ups and downs in 2022 on the PGA Tour so far with a Sony Open win in January but only three top 10 finishes since.
Norman clearly wants to bring LIV Golf Tournaments to Japan as much as possible, so having Matsuyama on his roster would definitely be huge in helping to bring these events to the masses.
LIV Golf’s offer for Matsuyama is likely to be substantial considering he’s the No. 1 sportsman in Japan.
Will Matsuyama stick or twist? We’ll just have to wait and see if they found Hideki’s number.
There has also been a lot of talk that defending PGA Tour FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay could possibly move to LIV Golf.
This one would come as a huge surprise to us here at GolfMagic, but there have been hundreds of tweets in recent weeks linking his name to a move to the Saudi golf league.
There’s also still a question mark over Rickie Fowler’s future.
The popular American is still in poor form, so who knows if he will jump ship at some point this season.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood had been heavily linked with a move to LIV Golf by a number of publications amid his fine tie for fourth at the Open, but his wife has since told The Times that he doesn’t would not go.
Related: Henrik Stenson inches closer to move to LIV Golf and being sacked as Ryder Cup captain
The LIV Golf question that everyone is tweeting about. Cam Smith with the death shot “I think it’s…pretty, not so good” pic.twitter.com/Jn5FGtOUSf
– Let’s Get Topical (@LGTopical) July 17, 2022
Six-time European Tour winner and Sky Sports Golf commentator Tony Johnstone believes a recent winner will move on to LIV Golf.
“Tuesday could be the day for a wave of defectors,” Johnstone tweeted.
“There will be some amazing names jumping ship with a VERY recent winner featured as part of the group. I hope he thinks long and hard about the ramifications of switching to Crew (L)egacy (I)s ( V)oided.”
Tuesday may be the day of a wave of defectors. There will be some amazing names jumping ship with a VERY recent winner featured as in the group. I hope he thinks long and hard about the ramifications of moving to the (L)egacy (I)s (V)oided team.
— Tony Johnstone (@TonyJohnstone56) July 17, 2022
Is the “VERY recent winner” a certain Open champion in Smith? Who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see.