It appears that a ban by the PGA Tour may not be enough keep Cameron Smith away from The Players Championship later this week.
Smith, like all other all players who defected from the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, is banned from the tour’s events.
But as far as major tournaments go, Augusta National Golf Club officials announced in December that golfers who qualified for the Masters tournament based on its previous criteria will be eligible to play in April 2023. Meaning, several players who currently compete in the LIV Golf series have likely received an invitation to the Masters.
But Smith, who lives near TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., teased that he may still attend this year’s tournament.
“I’d love to get out there,” Smith said via GOLF.com. “I don’t know how it would be received. But even getting out there, watching, walking around in the crowd might be pretty funny.”
If Smith does end up going to the tournament it could certainly be viewed as a slap in the face to the PGA and to the golfers who decided to remain on the tour.
Smith does have some free time coming up, as LIV Golf does not have another event until March 17.
But even if he shows up to The Players Championship, Smith will not be able to defend his 2022 title. The Australian will become the first player to miss a title defense at TPC Sawgrass for a reason other than injury.
He will likely have to pay to park if he does arrive. Last September, TPC Sawgrass decide to revoke Smith’s reserved parking spot at their clubhouse in the aftermath of his decision to join the controversial circuit.
Before joining LIV, Smith had come-from-behind victory at The Open Championship to defeat Rory McIlroy in 2022.
But early on in his tenure with LIV, Smith has experienced a significant amount of success. His only win so far came on Sept. 18 at an event in Chicago.
Smith sits in the No. 6 spot in the LIV standings after the opening event of the 2023 tour in Mayakoba, Mexico.