LIV golf series targets Cameron Smith out of BMW Championship

Wilmington, Delaware: British Open champion Cameron Smith has pulled out of the BMW Championship with what his manager described as a “hip discomfort” that Smith had been feeling the last few months.

Smith is No. 3 in the FedEx Cup, assured of a spot in the Tour Championship next week in Atlanta, though the withdrawal will mean he starts at least three shots behind when the FedEx Cup final begins.

“He has been dealing with some on and off hip discomfort for several months and thought it best he rest this week in his pursuit of the FedEx Cup,” Bud Martin, his agent at Wasserman, said in a statement.

The Australian, who turns 29 this week, was the center of attention last week in Memphis, Tennessee, that went beyond his golf.

First, London’s Daily Telegraph reported Smith was joining Saudi-funded LIV Golf after the FedEx Cup playoffs, which Smith again chose not to discuss. The report came on the same day a federal judge in California ruled against three LIV Golf players seeking a temporary restraining order to let them compete in the tour’s post-season.

Then, Smith trailed by two shots after the third round and needed to win to reach No. 1 in the world ranking. But a little more than an hour before his start to the final round, Smith was penalised two shots for playing a shot after a penalty drop when the ball was still touching the hazard line.

World No.2 Cameron Smith is already guaranteed a place in the season-ending Tour Championship.Credit:AP

Smith confirmed the ball was touching the line. The timing was awkward because the violation came a day later than it could have.

Smith was playing for the first time since his 64 on the final day at St Andrews to win his first major. he told Golf Digest his hip can act up in soft conditions. The TPC Southwind course was pounded by rain early in the week.

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