Golf’s worst-kept secret threatens to explode as President’s Cup shot emerges after LIV reports on Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman

Australian stardom Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman are reportedly among a group of golfers expected to serve up next week’s LIV Golf Series, a move that will severely affect the Presidents Cup international team.

World No. 2 Smith would easily become the highest-ranking signing in a major coup for the Saudi-backed league, which is led by compatriot Greg Norman.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Cameron Smith pulls Scottie Scheffler with a raised eyebrow

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Golf Channel was the first of several outlets to report on Sunday (AEST) that Smith, Leishman, Americans Harold Varner III and Cameron Tringale, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann and India’s Anirban Lahiri have booked LIV Golf for next week’s event outside of Boston will join.

British Open champion Smith again declined to comment after completing his third round of the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

Two under 68 left Smith in 18th place and 11 shots behind leader, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who nearly dropped out of the race for the $18 million Fed Ex Cup first prize ( $26 million) and was barred from PGA Tour Player of the Year honors despite his wonderful three-win season.

Masters champion Scheffler has already won four times in 2022.

That could be some kind of relief for the PGA Tour, which is grappling with the fallout from its hugely well-funded new rivals, LIV Golf.

Playing an LIV event, however, would mean that Smith, Leishman and Niemann will likely not be allowed to play on the international team against the United States at North Carolina’s Presidents Cup in late September due to defector suspensions from the PGA Tour.

Cameron Smith is reportedly set to join the LIV Golf Series. Recognition: Getty

Cameron Smith shoots fellow Australian over LIV claims

Cameron Smith shoots fellow Australian over LIV claims

Smith and Niemann both automatically earned a spot on the team, while four-time Internationals representative Leishman may have been a wildcard choice for captain Trevor Immelman.

Chilean Mito Pereira, another automatic pick for the Presidents Cup, was also reportedly set to move to LIV, but Sports Illustrated said he was not scheduled for next week’s event.

“Happy and honored to be part of the International Presidents Cup team,” Perreira posted on Instagram on Saturday.

Immelman seemed resigned to losing a few stars as his team seeks only their second win against a powerful USA team in the 14th edition of the Presidents Cup.

“I was chosen by our players to lead the international team to the best of my ability and I will live up to that honor wholeheartedly,” Immelman said in a statement to

“All I can control is the experience that the 12 players who want to be in the Presidents Cup will have. My wife and I, along with our coaches, have given two years of our lives to make this Presidents Cup a great week for our players, caddies and families.”

Trevor Immelman poses with the Presidents Cup during the captains visit for the 2022 Presidents Cup. Recognition: Ben Jared/PGA TOUR

Previously, Golf Channel reported that LIV Golf is joining the lawsuit that players have filed against the PGA Tour over their suspension from the Tour for attending the LIV events, while four players have had their names removed from the case.

This leaves seven players, specifically Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, along with LIV Golf as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The four who have retired their names are Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer, Pat Perez and Jason Kokrak.

The amended lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California Friday afternoon.

Three players still in the lawsuit — Australia’s Matt Jones, Talor Gooch and Hudson Swafford — previously applied for an injunction to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The judge denied her request two weeks ago.

Cam Smith is furious over the LIV golf issue.

Cam Smith is furious over the LIV golf issue. Golf’s worst-kept secret threatens to explode as President’s Cup shot emerges after LIV reports on Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman

James Brien

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