Cam Smith nominated for PGA Tour Player of the Year just days after suspension for joining LIV Golf


LIV Golf rebel Cam Smith is nominated for PGA Tour Player of the Year alongside Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler… and he CAN vote, even though he’s suspended from the traditional circuit

  • Cam Smith was suspended from the PGA Tour on Friday after his LIV Golf debut
  • The Australian made quite the impression as he had during the Tour’s season 
  • It would be a shock if Smith won the Jack Nicklaus Award following his departure

The PGA Tour issued a surprise Monday, announcing newest LIV Golf star Cam Smith is indeed a nominee for the Tour’s Player of the Year.

Smith, who defected to LIV Golf last week, made his debut for the Saudi-backed breakaway league on Friday outside of Boston. 

The Australian has been nominated alongside golfing purists Scottie Scheffler and Tour front-man Rory McIlroy. 

On accolades alone, it is no surprise to see Smith nominated and anointed as one of the Tour’s three best this season. 

Pertinently, he took out the British Open in July and added victories at the Players Championship and the Sentry Tournament of Champions to his campaign’s resume.

Though given Smith committed professional treason in the eyes of the Tour, it is jolting to see his name alongside McIlroy’s and Scheffler’s.

After his first ball left the tee during Friday’s LIV Golf event, Smith was suspended from all PGA Tour tournaments. 

Cameron Smith enjoyed himself during his first outing as a LIV Golf player last week in Boston

According to the Tour’s press release PGA Tour members who participated in a minimum of 15 FedEx Cup events during the 2021-22 season are eligible to vote.

Players who resigned membership will not be able to vote, even if they played over 15 events. 

The Brisbanian played in 18 events but has had his membership suspended along with all LIV Golf members, including the likes of Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brookes Koepka and Dustin Johnson. Smith will, though, be able to vote.

Rory McIlroy had a phenomenal PGA Tour season and will be unlucky to miss out on the award

Rory McIlroy had a phenomenal PGA Tour season and will be unlucky to miss out on the award

Smith finished second in the Tour’s scoring average (69.203) while achieving seven top-10 finishes. 

The likelihood of Smith winning the Jack Nicklaus award seem incredibly low for a multitude of reasons. 

It would represent another public blow to the Tour if Smith were to scoop the award, although it is hard to imagine his former colleagues voting for the Australian over his fellow nominees. 

LIV's newest recruit Smith arrived at The International near Boston in his stylish Lamborghini

LIV’s newest recruit Smith arrived at The International near Boston in his stylish Lamborghini

Last month, McIlroy became the first player to win the FedEx Cup thee times after completing the comeback of all comebacks over world No. 1 Scheffler. 

Following the historic victory, McIlroy used his platform to praise the Tour in which he has fought fiercely for all season.  

‘This is a proud moment for me but it should also be an incredibly proud moment for the PGA Tour.,’ McIlroy said. 

‘They have had some hard times this year, but we are getting through it. It’s been a very tumultuous era in our game. 

Scottie Scheffler remains the world's No. 1 ranked golfer ahead of PGA Tour defector, Smith

Scottie Scheffler remains the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer ahead of PGA Tour defector, Smith

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan would be left with egg on his face if Smith won award

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan would be left with egg on his face if Smith won award

‘This is the best place in the world to play golf. I don’t know why you would want to play anywhere else.’

While Smith has faced immense scrutiny since — and prior to — joining LIV Golf, he received a raucous reception during the LIV event in Bolton, MA. 

The Open champion finished just outside the sudden-death three-way playoff after faltering on the final two holes. 

Despite missing out after leading into the 17th, Smith remained content with simply being on the LIV circuit.

‘To get out here today and to do what I did was pretty cool,’ he said following Sunday’s action. 

‘It was great out there – the competition is fantastic.

‘It’s loud and it feels like the course has a heartbeat. I love that and can’t wait to keep going.’

The Australian signed a $100million deal to leave the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed series

The Australian signed a $100million deal to leave the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed series

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