Cameron Smith has urged the organisers of the four majors to “stand above all the politics” of the LIV Golf vs PGA Tour debate, and let the Saudi-backed players play.
The pleas have come on the same day LIV Golf confirmed it would make its Australian debut at Grange GC in Adelaide in April.
While Smith, along with everyone else signed to the series, is serving an indefinite ban from the PGA Tour, the majors are organised and sanctioned by their own bodies.
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The US Masters is run by the Augusta National Golf Club itself, the US Open by the USGA, the USPGA by the association itself (as opposed to the PGA Tour), and the British Open by the Royal and Ancient (R&A).
While the Royal and Ancient has all but confirmed LIV stars will be allowed to play The Open at Royal Liverpool in July, the other three majors – the US Open, US Masters and the USPGA – have all yet to commit one way or the other.
By winning The Open at St Andrews in July, Smith earned himself a five-year exemption to play in the other three majors, and at The Open itself until he turns 60.
“If (the majors) really want the best product and the best players playing against each other in the world, they have to let us play,” Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“There’s no reason other than playing another tour that should suggest we shouldn’t play.
“We’re definitely good enough players. We should have those spots.”
Smith said he believed the sport as a collective had taken a step back this year as each side of the ever-widening ravine slung the proverbial at the other.
One of LIV’s most vocal critics, world No.1 Rory McIlroy, believes the “us vs them” mentality has now gone too far.
It’s a sentiment Smith shares.
“I think on both sides of the board there could have been a few things, definitely at the start, where they could have said different stuff,” Smith said.
“There were things where … there was just some petty stuff going on. It wasn’t just one side. I’m hopeful that all that is going to really die down. It would be nice because it’s not golf.
“I feel like golf has always been a sport to overcome all these different problems throughout the world, and it feels like it’s taken a step back.”
Smith will join fellow Aussies Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Cam Davis, Lucas Herbert, Min Woo Lee and Matt Jones in the Australian Open in Victoria next month.
In a world first, both the men’s and women’s Opens will take part on the same courses, at the same time, for the same prizemoney.
The first two days will be held at Kingston Heath, south-east of Melbourne, while the final two days will be held down the road at Victoria Golf Club.
The Open will be held from December 1-4.
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