Cameron Smith's huge announcement amid LIV Golf controversy

Pictured right, Cameron Smith confirms he will return to Australia to compete in two massive tournaments at home in 2022.
Cameron Smith has confirmed he will return to Australia to compete in two massive tournaments at home in 2022. Pic: Getty/Twitter

Australia's newly crowned British Open champion Cameron Smith has announced that he will return home to take part in November's Australian PGA Championship.

Smith - who has been linked with a $140 million move to LIV Golf - will bring back the famous Claret Jug when he flies home to Brisbane at the conclusion of the PGA Tour.

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The 28-year-old is set to play in the season-ending event on Tour - the FedEx Cup's Tour Championship - which gets underway at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on Thursday (Friday morning AEST).

Smith's return will mark the first time since 2019 that he's played competitively in Australia, with the World No.2 also contesting the Australian Open in Melbourne from December 1-4.

Triumphant at the landmark 150th Open at St Andrews last month, Smith is now intent on capping off his unforgettable 2022 with more silverware on Australian soil.

The 28-year-old won back-to-back Australian PGA Championships in 2017 and 2018 and will be chasing a third when he tees up in his home city from November 24-27.

"I've had an unbelievable year and to be coming home to play tournaments is the icing on the cake," said the world No.2.

"I'm so excited to see friends and family again. Some of them I haven't seen for years now and once I get to the golf course, I've got my eye on some more trophies."

Smith's record-setting victory at the Old Course in Scotland was his third of the year after also taking out the prestigious Players Championship and the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

He then became the centre of controversy moments after The Open triumph when he refused to shut down reports he would be jumping ship to the Saudi-backed rebel golf tour.

Even if Smith joins Greg Norman's Saudi-backed competition after the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Smith will still be free to contest Australia's two biggest events of the summer.

Australasian tour officials have decided against following the lead of PGA and European Tour bosses in banning players from competing in their events, if they've joined LIV Golf.

Smith is the latest big-name drawcard to commit to the Australian Open and PGA Championships.

Seen here, Cameron Smith soaks in his British Open triumph by holding The Claret Jug aloft at the St Andrews Old Course.
Cameron Smith soaks in his British Open triumph by holding The Claret Jug aloft at the St Andrews Old Course. Pic: Getty

Cam Smith's inclusion a huge coup for Golf Australia

He joins fellow PGA Tour stars Marc Leishman, Lucas Herbert and Min Woo Lee.

Former Women's US PGA Champion Hannah Green is also teeing up at the mixed-gender Australian Open being staged at Kingston Heath and the Victoria Golf Club.

South Africa's newly crowned Women's British Open champion Ashleigh Buhai also announced on Thursday that she'd play the Australian Open, which is offering a $3.4 million in prize money to be split evenly among the men and women.

Golf Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said securing Smith and Buhai was a massive boost to Australian golf fans.

"Over the last few years Australians golf fans have loved following the rise of Cameron Smith," Sutherland said.

"He delights fans of all ages and even young kids have been inspired by him, turning up to golf sporting mullets and dreaming of playing like him.

"For Australian golf fans this is a great opportunity to come and watch Cameron - and to recognise his brilliant achievements, including his most recent Open Championship victory."

with AAP

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