WOW. I don't want to believe this is true and I want to be very clear. This is unsubstantiated and the only legitimate source that has gone on to report it is Reuters... which is a bit of a bizarre lane for them to delving into. If this was a more golf-specific or sports publication, I'd believe it a lot more.
But there's a few other tea leaves at work here. First was Cam himself with a bit of an awkward moment during his victory presser earlier today.
Now let's be fair here. Asking that question in that given moment in indeed pure asshattery. Cam was right to scoff at it right off the bat, and he's typically not a guy who's gonna get worked up or offended by hardly anything. But he did have the opportunity to shoot down the suggestion with a little more oomph, and his "I don't know, mate" answer is far from that. I managed to dig out a clip from his pre-US Open presser and his answer to a similar question was more or less the same - "I'm just a golfer, not a politician, I'm here to focus on the US Open, etc etc etc." Not exactly taking up the flag for the PGA Tour.
The other tea leave comes by way of Colt Knost, who didn't necessarily confirm that he knew anything, but he's the first to have attached a dollar figure to the notion and I gotta say... that's pretty specific to ignore. Especially given his use of the past tense.
All of this gives me some serious concern that this may actually be happening. Which is a serious serious bummer. Cam Smith is one of the most likable dudes in the game. He has tremendous global marketing potential for the PGA Tour and a bright future ahead of him. And now at #2 in the world, he's the best golfer that LIV would have on the roster. Surely not the most recognizable, but after this weekend he's definitely tracking in that direction. That makes this a tremendous shot across the bow for the Tour and a huge potential W for LIV Golf. That and the rumored plucking of Henrik Stenson (who would be forfeiting Ryder Cup captaincy) would be a massive step forward for 54 Golf.
I suppose we'll sit back and wait to see what happens. Rumors suggest these announcements may be coming as soon as tomorrow. LIV Golf's next event is July 29-31 in New Jersey, so whatever's gonna happen has gotta happen sooner rather than later. But man… what a huge blow this could be to the golf world as we know it.