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Smith, Niemann among players to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf

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British Open champion Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann are amongst six gamers to depart the PGA Tour for Saudi-funded LIV Golf, which returns this week for a fourth tournament, this time outdoors of Boston.

The signing of Smith, who had been deflecting questions on his imminent departure because the day he gained the claret jug, offers Greg Norman his first participant from the highest 10 on the earth.

Smith, a 29-year-old from Australia, rose to No. 2 on the earth rating after winning at St. Andrews. He might have reached No. 1 with a victory in the beginning of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Now, that chance is gone. LIV Golf doesn’t get rating factors, although it filed an software final month.

The PGA Tour is suspending members as quickly as they put a ball in play at LIV Golf occasions.

Others to signal are Marc Leishman, a six-time PGA Tour winner from Australia who at age 38 has dropped out of the highest 50 on the earth, and three others who depart with out ever having gained on the PGA Tour — People Harold Varner III and Cameron Tringale and Anirban Lahiri of India.

Smith and Niemann, who’s from Chile, had been among the many eight qualifiers for the Worldwide group on the Presidents Cup, which can be performed in a month at Quail Hole. Leishman and Lahiri beforehand have performed within the matches.

As a result of the PGA Tour solely operates the Presidents Cup — not like the Ryder Cup, which Europe operates on house soil — gamers who be a part of LIV Golf aren’t eligible.

Niemann, 23, thought of becoming a member of the rival league in February till Phil Mickelson’s disparaging feedback concerning the Saudis and the PGA Tour stalled the launch of LIV Golf. Niemann then gained the Genesis Invitational at Riviera and cited the competitors and historical past as causes he wished to remain on the PGA Tour.

However all his finest associates in golf have joined the rival sequence — Carlos Ortiz and Abraham Ancer of Mexico, Sergio Garcia of Spain — and so they usually shared a home and introduced in their very own chef for the week. His supervisor, Carlos Rodriguez of GSE Worldwide, mentioned Niemann nonetheless had not signed a LIV Golf deal when he flew to Boston on Monday.

Together with successful the British Open for his first main, Smith won The Players Championship in March by one shot over Lahiri. Paul Casey was two pictures behind, and now all three gamers have joined LIV Golf.

Together with large signing bonuses — The Every day Telegraph reported $150 million for Smith — gamers full for $25 million in prize cash at every of the LIV Golf Invitational occasions.

The Boston occasion is at The Worldwide, which about 45 minutes west of Boston. LIV Golf takes off subsequent week due to the European tour flagship occasion at Wentworth in England, after which returns Sept. 16-18 to the Chicago suburbs.

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Extra AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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