Cameron Smith’s celebrations after taking out the British Open were upset when he bumped into a reporter who asked him if he would join the rebellious Saudi LIV tour straight after his incredible win.
The journalist apologized for the bad timing before questioning the Queenslander about rumors he would join the controversial breakaway competition, which is being run by fellow Australian Greg Norman.
Smith – who up to this point was all smiles at his post-tournament press conference – was visibly excited as he shot back: “I’ve just won the British Open and you’re asking about it?
“I think that’s pretty, not so good.”
Smith’s beaming smile was replaced by a scowl when a reporter asked him if rumors that he was joining Greg Norman’s renegade LIV tour were true
The Queenslander (pictured kissing the Claret Jug after his win) refused to be told if he was going to the Saudi-backed tour after rumors surfaced that Norman was trying to recruit him and Adam Scott, to form an all-Australian team in the series
The reporter was adamant, asking the new champion if he was interested in taking part in the Rivals Tour, to which Smith replied, “I don’t know, mate. My team around me takes care of all these things, I’m just here to win golf tournaments.’
Rumors that LIV CEO Norman Smith and Adam Scott are looking to recruit to form an all-Australia team in the Rebel competition have been aired from the UK telegraph newspaper just before Smith fired a final round 64 to win the Claret Jug at St Andrews.
The Australian’s failure to rule out participation in the series quickly grabbed headlines after it was revealed that Henrik Stenson will captain Europe’s Ryder Cup as he nears completing a move to the Saudi-backed competition.
He appears ready to join fellow European stars Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Martin Kaymer and record Cup scorer Sergio Garcia, who have all signed up. Garcia confirmed Sunday that he will be officially retiring from the DP World Tour.
Smith’s recruitment would be a major coup for Norman, who was barred from attending the 150th Open celebrations at St Andrews due to his role at LIV
The 28-year-old’s amazing round of 16 finish on the final day sealed a win for the ages and saw him break Tiger Woods’ mark for the all-time lowest result at St Andrews
Smith shot a total of 268 over his four rounds and landed 20 under par – the furthest under par by a winner in majors history and the lowest total ever at St Andrews.
The Australian beat Tiger Woods’ previous record of 269 set in 2000 when the American finished 19 under.
With a remarkable five consecutive birdies early in the back nine, Smith pipped home hopeful Rory McIlroy down to become the first Australian to win the famous Claret Jug at Royal St George’s since Greg Norman in 1993.
“Oh jeez, what a week. I’m going to collapse here, I know it,” Smith said, fighting back tears after being presented with the coveted trophy.
“All the names there, every player that was at the top of their game won that championship.
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool to be there. It hasn’t really settled down yet. I don’t think it will take a few weeks. Yes, it’s just unreal.’
Beers nearby, Smith poses with the trophy on the balcony of the Royal & Ancient clubhouse after becoming the first Aussie to win the title since Greg Norman in 1993
Showing nerves of steel, the 28-year-old finished Sunday with a record eight under par 64 to win his elusive first Major title after two near misses at the Masters.
He won through a shot by American Cameron Young, who hit the last for a 65 to force Smith to pot a two-foot yardie putt to deny the American a four-hole playoff.
McIlroy finished another shot at 18 under after a 70 in the final round.
Putting his name in the history books after winning golf’s oldest and greatest championship, Smith is also the first player since the legendary Jack Nicklaus in 1978 to complete The Players and British Open double.
He is Australia’s fifth Open winner after Norman, who also reigned at Turnberry in 1986, Ian Baker Finch (1991), Kel Nagle (1960) and five-time champion Peter Thomson (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1965).
Nagle and Thomson are the only other Australians to have won the Open at the Old Course in the home of golf.
But not even these two greats completed the win in such grand style.
Smith’s finishing 64 is the lowest ever final round by an Open champion and equaled Norman’s 64 on the par 71 layout at Sandwich in 1993.
Convincing him to join the LIV tour would be a major coup for Norman, who was snubbed by the Royal & Ancient Club who refused to invite him to the celebrations for the 150th Open, fearing that his status as Face the competition would hijack the event.
Jaws would normally have been an obvious invitation under normal circumstances, having won the Open twice during his career.