Cameron Smith has received high-praise from Aussie Rod Pampling but the veteran believes his move to LIV Golf could impact his legacy. Smith's move to the Greg Norman-led LIV Golf was announced shortly after winning The Open.
Smith was ranked World No.2 at the time and was a huge draw card for the rival competition to the PGA Tour. Since his decision, Smith has only been allowed to play at the four majors. This has seen him drop to World No.20 in the rankings due to the division between the two tours and his lack of PGA Tour events.
Smith will defend his Australian PGA title at Royal Queensland this week, a tournament the 2022 British Open winner has won three times. Pampling, the 2008 Australian Masters champion and a three-time winner on the PGA tour, was asked whether Smith was destined to be hailed as one of the finest players Australia has produced.
While handing Smith glowing praise, he did question the 30-year-old's decision to join LIV having claimed it could be hard to judge his achievements since the tour is split. "As long as he keeps doing what he has been doing he will definitely get there," Pampling said.
"It is just a shame that LIV and the (PGA) Tour have split so much that it is not going allow a guy's career to grow into being one. It is an interesting time for the guys coming through about where they are going to fit into the legendary status of the game.
"He is a great player. I think it is an interesting time with LIV Golf. There is not the PGA tour wins and European tour wins that he will be able to build on. We still don't know what the future holds there. It is a tough one to pick because you are not going to have these events to put up against the players beforehand.
"Is he one of the greats of Australian golf? Is he not? Right now, of course he is, and he is only going to get better as well."
Smith has won five times on the PGA tour, which includes one major. While he is only 30, Smith has quite a distance to go before reaching Norman who leads with 20 titles on the PGA Tour.
Rod Pampling determined to battle Cameron Smith
Smith continues his strong form in 2023 having finished runner-up in Hong Kong this month. The Australian finished runner-up Ben Campbell after the New Zealander won it on the final putt after the battle with Smith.
And while Smith is heading into Royal Queensland in strong form, veteran Aussie Pampling has signalled his intention to go out and win the event. "It's a great thing with the Champions Tour and with golf. I am 54 and can still play competitively against everyone," Pampling said.
"To win this year was great. I feel like I can compete out here. I know the golf course, which is a huge advantage. I am looking forward to a good week."
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