With the start of the 2023 Masters Tournament less than a week away, the focus will turn to LIV golfers who will be teeing it up at Augusta.
Eighteen players who made the jump to LIV and were subsequently suspended by the PGA Tour will compete for the green jacket starting Thursday.
One of those players is the winner of the 2022 Open Championship, Cameron Smith.
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Smith made the move to the LIV shortly after winning his first major at The Old Course in Scotland. He is playing in his fourth tournament of the year this weekend at LIV Orlando.
LIV golfers have faced criticism for the format they play — 54-hole, no-cut tournaments — as well as the number of tournaments LIV will play this year, but Smith said the “chatter” around the format is motivation for him to play well at the Masters.
“Obviously, first and foremost for me, I’m trying to go there and play the best golf I can,” Smith told reporters Thursday, according to ESPN. “I think it is important for us to go there, really show a high standard of golf, which we know we’re all capable of.
“Most of us will get four cracks at it this year [in the majors], and hopefully we get maybe a win out of it. Maybe we just show a really hearty effort. I think, for us, internally, there’s a lot of chatter going around about ‘these guys don’t play real golf anymore.’ And I think it’s B.S. to be honest. And we just want to show people that.”
Smith will be making his seventh appearance at Augusta and has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five Masters.
LIV golfers Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and others will also be making their way to Augusta, and Smith is hoping the reception from Tour players will be warm.
“I’m really not sure, to be honest. I hope that it’s fine,” Smith said. “I’ve had a great career around Augusta, and I hope I haven’t pissed anyone off. I guess we’ll wait and see. There are a few guys who have a stronger stance [on LIV].”
Source: Fox News