Cameron Smith, the world’s second-ranked golfer and a player whose exceptional final-round putting carried him to this year’s British Open title, will join LIV Golf, the breakaway series financed with money from Saudi Arabia.
Smith is expected to play in LIV’s next 54-hole, no-cut tournament, which will begin Friday in Bolton, Mass., west of Boston. Five other players — Anirban Lahiri, Marc Leishman, Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Tringale and Harold Varner III — will also join a LIV field for the first time, the series announced on Tuesday.
The moves by the players were widely expected but still bruised the PGA Tour, which has spent months trying to devise ways to keep players in its establishment fold. Last week, Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, announced changes, including purses averaging $20 million at a dozen events next season, that executives hoped would better position the tour to compete with the allure of LIV, which has enticed players with more relaxed schedules and, in some instances, contracts reportedly worth at least $100 million.