LIV Golf rebel Cameron Smith regrets £80m defection because he can’t be No 1

Golf star Cameron Smith has regrets about cashing in on £80million for joining the rebel LIV Golf series after seeing his world ranking drop.

The 29-year-old was world No.2 last year after winning the first major competition of his career at The Open. He then joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series and was paid huge money for doing so. With no ranking points awarded for LIV Golf events, Smith has dropped to No.4 and missed the opportunity to be named the world's best player.

"I've tried to take it not that badly, to be honest," Smith said in Saudi Arabia ahead of his first tournament of 2023.

READ MORE: LIV Golf rebel Cameron Smith handed 'sad and disappointing' ban days after £3.5m win

"I think when you rock up to a tournament, you know who you have to beat, whether there's a world ranking or not,' the Australian said in Saudi Arabia, where he will start his 2023 season. There's generally seven or eight guys that are in that field that you know are going to put up a pretty good fight.

"For sure, it hurts. I feel as though I was really close to getting to No.1, and that was definitely something I wanted to tick off."

LIV Golf players are suspended from PGA Tour events and Smith was also cut from the International side at last year's Presidents Cup.

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The rebel series holds shortened 54-hole format events which also includes no cuts and an invitational field limited to 48 players. LIV Golf doesn't meet the requirements set out by the Official World Golf Rankings and their application is yet to be approved.

This has resulted in the rankings of LIV Golf rebels plummeting and Smith is the only member inside the world's top 35. In response rebels signed a petition last year asking for the Saudi-backed series to be awarded ranking points.

"The longer that this stuff goes on, I think the more obsolete those rankings become," Smith added. "That's just the long and short of it, I think.

"Do we need them? It would be nice, but like I said, you know who you've got to beat when you get on the golf course."


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