LIV’s impact is as noticeable as ever at The Players Championship

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came the The Players Championship and he’s doing it to a player who isn’t even part of the most powerful tournament on the circuit, aside from the ‘majors’. Stranger still is that the player in question isn’t called Tiger Woods but cameron smith, defending champion and champion of the British Open at Saint Andrews. This obvious absence is a clear symptom of the fracture that exists today in the world of professional golf.

Smith will not be able to return this year – the demonstration offered by the Aussie in 2022 is incredible – because he was suspended by the circuit after joining the LIV Golf circuit, which is funded by Saudi Arabia. And not just Smith. The runner-up last year was the Indian Anirban Lahirifollowed by English Paul Casey. They are some of the 36 players who turned away to join LIV Golf, and some of the 17 players who were part of last year’s wild and windy weekend at TPC Sawgrass and will not be on the Stadium Course this year. from TPC Sawgrass.

The Australian flag still flies outside the clubhouse in honor of the champion’s home country. Smith’s pitching wedge is on display in the clubhouse, part of the tradition of a winner leaving a club integral to their success. But Cameron is absent despite the fact that the world number 5 has lived door to door with the complex since 2016. He is likely to be found this week with a fishing rod, rather than a wedge and putter in hand.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty good week on the water,” Smith told Golf Digest two weeks ago at LIV Golf’s inaugural event in Mexico. Even in the richest tournament on the PGA Tour – a $25 million purse with $4.5 million to spare – the topic of LIV Golf isn’t far off. Smith is the first defending champion to miss The Players since Tiger Woods in 2014, recovering from the first of five back surgeries. Woods is also not playing this week, having decided to rest his battered legs ahead of the Masters at Augusta.

“Yes, it’s awkward,” said the PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. “But ultimately it was a decision he made, and we had an incredible entry.” But by the numbers, it can be hard to tell the difference between The Players and last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, or the Genesis Invitational at Riviera a few weeks ago. Bay Hill has 43 of the top 50 players in the world rankings. Players have 44 of the top 50, with the distinction that Harold Varner III (another LIV player) dropped into the top 50 this week.

“It’s not going to be as big a gap as it was in the past,” he said. Jon Rahm, although he emphasized the increase in prize money ($25 million), world ranking points (the most in golf outside of the ‘majors’) and FedEx Cup points. “And then there’s the legacy with the tournament,” Jon continued. “Winning this tournament is a big step towards the Hall of Fame… it’s probably the closest you can get to being a Grand Slam champion without officially becoming one. This is our championship. So I think I think that’s what differentiates it from other events” , highlighted the Basque.

Source: La Verdad

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