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Rebel LIV Golf tour finally names venue for first Australian event, Cam Smith begs PGA for a chance

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Rebel LIV Golf tour finally names venue for first Australian event, Cam Smith begs PGA for a chance

Adelaide has won the race to host Australia’s first LIV Golf tournament, with international stars including Cameron Smith teeing up at The Grange Golf Club in April next year.

The Adelaide course was chosen by the LIV CEO Greg Norman-led breakaway league to host the three-day tournament from April 21-23 as part of a 14-stop global schedule.

Norman said the ‘fantastic’ response from South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas was key to getting the deal over the line, telling the Adelaide Advertiser he would ‘never forget’ his first phone call to the leader.

The ‘Great White Shark’ said in a statement that there was ‘tremendous potential’ for Australia to play a role in the Saudi-backed league which also features major winners Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has announced that Adelaide will host the rebel tour's first Australian event

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has announced that Adelaide will host the rebel tour’s first Australian event

The US PGA Tour does not play top-tier tournaments in Australia, with big names only attracted by the Presidents Cup, which was last contested in Melbourne in 2019.

‘Passion for sport is the core of Australian culture, and LIV Golf is proud to bring its global league to a country deserving of the world’s top competition,’ said Norman.

‘This is an opportunity to grow the game with generations of Australians while connecting them with star players like Cameron Smith who are creating a new platform for golf around the world.

‘There is enormous potential for Australia to play a bigger role in this great sport, and I couldn’t be more excited to showcase Adelaide for the first year of our league.’

Meanwhile, Smith called for an end to ‘petty’ decisions issued by the PGA Tour that prevent LIV Golfers from playing in the four majors.

Golf’s premier body The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) has all-but rubberstamped approval for Smith to defend his title from The Open which he won on the PGA Tour this year.

But the decision on whether LIV defectors can play in PGA events The Masters, USPGA Championship and US Open remains up in the air.

As it currently stands, the PGA Tour has placed an indefinite ban on LIV golfers and the DP World Tour is attempting to do the same, pending a court decision.

Smith earned a five-year exemption to play all four majors courtesy of his win at The Open this year but wants to put politics aside so fellow LIV golfers can also play PGA Tour events.

‘I think the majors really need to stand above all the politics,’ Smith told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

‘If they really want the best product and the best players playing against each other in the world, they have to let us play. No reason other than playing another tour should suggest we shouldn’t play.

‘We are definitely enough players. We should have those places.’

Smith wants the arguments of both sides to stop so that golf will be the ultimate winner despite the fracture caused by LIV Golf and the player being depleted from the PGA Tour.

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‘There are things where … there are little things that happen. It’s not just one sided. I hope all of that really dies. It would be good because it’s not golf.

Smith wants 'small' restrictions to prevent fellow LIV golfers like Dustin Johnson (pictured right) from being banned from competing in PGA tournaments with the majors

Smith wants ‘small’ restrictions to prevent fellow LIV golfers like Dustin Johnson (pictured right) from being banned from competing in PGA tournaments with the majors

‘I feel like golf has always been a sport to overcome all these different problems around the world, and it feels like it’s taken a step back.’

The Grange has hosted major professional events including the West Lakes Classic, where Norman claimed his first professional victory in 1976.

The Victorian government has reportedly backed off a strategy from the LIV, preferring to side with the PGA in the golf battle arena.

British Open champion Smith, fellow LIV rebel Marc Leishman, as well as Adam Scott and Cameron Davis will return home this month for a series of tournaments starting at the Australian PGA in Brisbane.

The event is co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour (formerly the European tour) and LIV defectors are allowed to play.