December 9, 2022

After Rory McIlroy said it would be “better for the sport” if a LIV golfer didn’t win the British Open, this weekend’s winner may be taking the Claret Jug with him to the breakaway league.

Cameron Smith’s victory press conference on Sunday included a grilling on LIV rumors by a Sky Sports reporter, which appeared to annoy the new major champion.

“I just won the British Open, and you’re asking about that. I think that’s pretty not that good,” the Australian said. “I don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”

While frustrated, Smith did little to curtail the speculation that has only increased since his victory. Smith ended his weekend with an eight-under 64 on Sunday, which included five straight birdies on the back nine. While Smith was quick to brush off the rumors, he never denied any of them, which raised some eyebrows.

The questions came to the forefront as it is rumored that LIV Golf is set to soon announce a new lineup of players headlined by the 28-year-old Smith. The rumors were further exemplified by the face of LIV, Greg Norman, ecstatically congratulating Smith on Twitter for his victory.

“Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! A spectacular final round mate,” Norman said to his countryman. “A triumph for you and for Australia as the first Australian to win in 29 years. You’re in good company. Enjoy every moment of your The Open victory.”

Henrik Stenson is also believed to be jumping ship for the Saudi-backed LIV league. If so, the Swede will be stripped of his captaincy for the Ryder Cup.

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Cameron Smith during the final round of the British Open on July 17, 2022.
Cameron Smith during his British Open press conference.
Cameron Smith during his British Open press conference.

Despite the speculation, Smith said he isn’t going to focus on those distractions after his win.

“I’m definitely going to see how many beers fit in this thing,” Smith said. “I’ll probably have about 20 Claret Jugs.”