British Open champion Cameron Smith said on Wednesday he felt it was unfair that those who joined LIV Golf are not receiving world ranking points and hopes that changes before his exemption into golf’s four majors expires. World number two Smith, whose move to LIV Golf was made official this week, earned exemption into golf’s four majors for at least the next five years with his one-shot win at last month’s British Open.
Organisers of the majors have not changed their qualifying rules but the 29-year-old Smith could still one day find himself on the outside looking in as, for now, he can no longer earn world ranking points. “It’s really a shame that we are not getting world ranking points out here,” Smith said ahead of his LIV Golf debut this week outside Boston.
“To have 48 of the best guys around the world playing, and not to get world ranking points, is perhaps a little bit unfair. “It’s still super competitive out here. I just really think it’s a little bit unfair.”
While LIV Golf has lured players away from the PGA Tour with staggering sums of money, the financial windfall could come at a cost for those still looking to compete in the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open. LIV Golf’s application to the Official World Golf Ranking board — which consists of representatives from the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, USGA, R&A, PGA of America and Augusta National — is under review.
“I hope that these world ranking points will sort themselves out before my exemption is up,” said Smith, who has not resigned his membership of the PGA Tour. “To the fans of major championship golf, it may be a little bit unfair on them. I think majors is about having the best guys in the best field on the best golf courses. Hopefully we can sort that out.”
Smith, who began talking to LIV Golf prior to his triumph at the British Open, has heard the criticism about his decision but has no regrets, even though he will be suspended from the PGA Tour when he tees off at The International on Friday. “This is a new kind of chapter in my life. I think this is the future of golf. I love how it is out here,” said Smith.
“It’s a little bit more laid back on the range, the music playing. I love that stuff. I play with music at home and yeah, I just can’t wait to be a part of this.”
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