Cameron Smith has taken exception to a question about whether or not he's joining LIV Golf after his record-breaking triumph at The Open Championship.
The Aussie star made golf history on Sunday, shooting the equal-lowest final-round score by a winner at The Open ever.
With five consecutive birdies to open the back nine and then another to seal victory at the last, Smith won by a shot from Cameron Young with a historic final-round 64.
The Queenslander is just the fifth Australian to have his name etched onto the famous Claret Jug, joining Greg Norman (1986 and 1993), Ian Baker Finch (1991), Kel Nagle (1960) and five-times champion Peter Thomson (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1965).
But questions in his post-round press conference inevitably turned to reports he's set to join Norman's controversial LIV Golf series.
Norman is the CEO and face of the Saudi-backed rebel tour, which has heavily divided the golf world and outraged the PGA Tour.
Norman and LIV Golf have been accused of using the series as a form of 'sportswashing' for Saudi Arabia - who have thrown a reported $3 billion into the venture.
When a reporter put it to Smith that his name had been floated as a potential recruit for Norman, he said: “I just won the British Open and you’re asking about that? I think that’s, pretty, not that good."
When pressed further on his plans going forward, Smith added: “I don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”
The LIV Golf question everyone is tweeting about. Cam Smith with the death shot "i think thats... pretty, not that good" pic.twitter.com/Jn5FGtOUSf
— Let's Get Topical (@LGTopical) July 17, 2022
As many pointed out on social media, Smith never denied that he's set to join the likes of Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka in LIV Golf.
New York Times reporter Christopher Clarey tweeted: “The brand new British Open champion Cam Smith was just asked if there was any truth to the rumours that he may jump to the breakaway LIV tour. He rejected the question but that was hardly a denial.”
Sports journalist Frankie Christou opined that Smith’s answer “sounded like a huge non denial to me”.
Golf pundit Geoff Shackelford said Smith’s response gave a “big non-denial vibe”.
Cameron Smith, Open champion, angry at being asked in press conference about growing rumours he is poised to join LIV Golf. 'I just won the Open.' No denial.
— Oliver Brown (@oliverbrown_tel) July 17, 2022
The brand new British Open champion Cam Smith was just asked if there was any truth to the rumors that he may jump to the breakaway LIV tour. He rejected the question but that was hardly a denial
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) July 17, 2022
So, based on that non-denial, Cam Smith pretty clearly going to LIV, right?
— Skip Foster (@skipfoster) July 17, 2022
The @camsmith9 presser took a chilly turn with the needed-to-be-asked LIV question. "I just won the British Open and you’re asking about that? I think that's pretty not that good." Big non-denial denial vibe. #TheOpen
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) July 17, 2022
Cameron Smith's reply to a LIV question: “My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”
1) That's a very weird reply.
2) That ain't good for the PGA Tour.
— Len Hochberg ⛳ (@LenHochberg) July 17, 2022
In what could be seen as a telling move, Norman tweeted his congratulations to Smith, writing: "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! A spectacular final round mate.
"A triumph for you and for Australia as the first Australian to win in 29 years. You’re in good company. Enjoy every moment of your victory."
Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi! 🇦🇺🏆 A spectacular final round mate. A triumph for you and for Australia as the first Australian to win in 29 years. You’re in good company :-) Enjoy every moment of your @TheOpen victory @CameronSmithPGA. #TheOpen #thatwinningfeeling pic.twitter.com/GIdvhLpPVa
— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) July 17, 2022
Cameron Smith planning '40 beers' after Open triumph
Only half joking, Smith said he planned on drinking the Claret Jug 20 times over after capturing golf's oldest and most cherished trophy.
"I'm definitely going to see how many beers fit in this thing," an ecstatic Smith said after reeling in Rory McIlroy, then holding off Young in a rousing finale on Sunday.
"I'll probably have about 20 Claret Jugs," he said, estimating the spoils would fit "two cans of beer".
"To be honest, I'm really tired. It's been a long week, so I'd be surprised if I make it past 10 or 11 tonight."
Smith's victory at the 150th Open - the most celebrated tournament in the sport's rich history - followed Nagle's at the 100-year anniversary Open in 1960.
"That's pretty cool. I didn't know that," the 28-year-old said.
"To win an Open Championship in itself is probably going to be a golfer's highlight in their career. To do it around St Andrews, I think is just unbelievable.
"This place is so cool. I love the golf course. I love the town. Yeah, hopefully we can keep that trend going with the every 50 years. That would be nice, wouldn't it?"
Smith's only disappointment was not having his father Des in town to celebrate with him.
"My dad was actually meant to come over, and he pulled out in the last minute, basically," Smith said of Des, who introduced Smith to golf at the Wantima Club in Brisbane as a toddler.
"I really wish he was here too. It would have been such a cool week, even without this (trophy), to be at the home of golf.
"Dad loves his golf as well. It would have been awesome. Actually, I don't have any family here."
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