Cameron Smith's revelation about family as Rory McIlroy calls for end to golf farce

Smith's remarks come after a major warning from World No.2 McIlroy.

Cameron Smith says he is open to a merger between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour but remains cautious about how that would affect his schedule and ability to spend time with family. Rory McIlroy has described the current split between the rival tours as unsustainable and wants the best players competing together again as soon as possible.

After months of feuding, the PGA Tour first announced a surprise merger with LIV last June "to unify the game of golf". Talks are ongoing between all parties but uncertainty remains about how any proposed merger would look. Smith says while he is open to the idea, it would not be at the expense of some of the main reasons - apart from the money - that attracted him to LIV in the first place.

Pictured right to left is Rory McIlroy and LIV Golf star Cameron Smith.
Rory McIlroy is keen for LIV Golf and the PGA Tour to merge but Cameron Smith is mindful about what that means for his schedule and ability to spend time with family. Pic: Getty

Cameron Smith values family time back in Australia

The Aussie cited a more flexible schedule, the ability to pick and choose his tournaments and the opportunity to spend more time with family as key to his defection. Smith says a lot of other players made the jump for the same reason and warned many would be unhappy if that were to significantly change due to a merger between the rival tours.

"There's a lot of really happy guys on our side," Smith told Australian reporters on a zoom call from his Florida base on Tuesday. "For myself, I've probably got another four or five weeks off every year the last couple of years and been able to spend more time in Australia.

"I don't know if I'm willing to sacrifice being away from my family and stuff as much as I had in the past, especially given the (enjoyment of the) last couple of years. It's been so nice. So I don't really know if it means playing more. I think it's going to be a tough sell.

"There's a lot of guys on both sides that don't play that much and, if they had to play more, I'm not sure how happy everyone would be. So I don't know if that's the resolve."

Seen here, Aussie LIV Golf superstar Cameron Smith.
Aussie superstar Cameron Smith was one of the biggest names in the sport to join LIV Golf from the PGA Tour. Pic: Getty

Merger talks have dragged on for the months, with the PGA Tour securing a US$4.6 billion investment deal with a consortium of US sports team owners called Strategic Sports Group in January. PGA tour commissioner Jay Monahan said last month that his organisation was prepared to push on without LIV if an agreement can't be reached, and Smith admits the months of uncertainty have been a little frustrating.

"The whole process is probably taking a little bit longer than everyone anticipated," Smith added ahead of next week's Masters at Augusta National. "But there's also a lot of stuff to work out and I haven't asked too many questions about what's going to happen, but I'm guessing that there will have to be sacrifices probably on both sides if we want that all to happen.


"There's no reason there can't be from where I sit." Smith suspects "a lot of spectators and fans that desperately want it to happen too". So hopefully just through some determination they can get to a resolve pretty soon," he said.

Rory McIlroy wants 'the best players back together again'

World No.2 McIlroy is among those desperate to see the rival tours come together so the best players in the world can compete regularly against one another in the biggest tournaments. "There needs to be a correction," the four-time major champion told Golf Monthly. "I think what's happening is not sustainable right now, so something needs to happen to try to bring it all back together so we can all move forward so we don't have this division that's sort of ongoing.

"They keep going down those different paths and I just don't see how that benefits anyone in the long run. I think (it's) a shame for the overall game of golf... We're probably still quite a long way from it, but I would hope that in the future that we can get there, unify the game and get the best players back together again."

with agencies