LIV Golf will reveal the identities of another three players who have signed up to the breakaway series "in the next few days".

Cameron Smith did not rule out making the move to LIV Golf after winning his first major with a sensational final round at The Open on Sunday.

The Australian snapped at a reporter at St Andrews when asked if he could defect to LIV, saying: "I just won the British Open and you're asking about that? I think that's not that good."

When asked again, he said: "I don't know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I'm here to win golf tournaments."

Henrik Stenson is expected to join the Saudi-backed series, a decision that is set to see the Swede be stripped of his role as Europe's Ryder Cup captain.

Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Bubba Watson have also been linked with switches to LIV Golf.

Paul Casey will make his debut in the LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster, an event staged from July 29-31 at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

 

Newly crowned Open champion Cameron Smith said he was just "here to win golf tournaments" as he declined to say whether he could soon join the breakaway LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The Australian was asked about the prospect in a news conference after landing the first major of his career on Sunday, pipping Cameron Young by one shot and Rory McIlroy by two at St Andrews.

It remains to be seen whether Smith has been tempted by the prospect of signing up for the lucrative, Saudi-backed breakaway competition.

He was not open to giving a direct answer when asked whether there was truth behind rumours he could defect to LIV Golf.

"I just won the British Open, and you're asking about that. I think that's pretty not that good," Smith said.

When asked to answer the question one way or another, Smith replied: "I don't know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I'm here to win golf tournaments."

The 28-year-old would be joining the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood if he joins LIV Golf.

Big incentives are on offer for committing to play in the new series, along with hefty prize purses.

Critics of LIV Golf have claimed it is an attempt at "sportswashing" by the Saudi Arabia regime, attempting to improve the country's image amid allegations of human rights violations.

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour have come out in opposition to the series, as have a number of leading players, including Tiger Woods and McIlroy.

Smith's fellow Australian Greg Norman is CEO of LIV Golf.

Norman also happened to be the last Australian winner of the Open until Smith's sublime closing 64 at the home of golf saw him vault to the top of the leaderboard and lift the Claret Jug.

In a congratulatory Twitter message to Smith, Norman, the 1986 and 1993 Open winner, wrote: "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."

Sergio Garcia announced he will resign from the DP World Tour and abandon hope of another Ryder Cup appearance, as he completed what is likely to be his last appearance in a St Andrews-staged Open Championship.

The bombshell announcement came after his final round of the major at the 'home of golf', with Garcia underlining his commitment to the controversial, Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

It remains to be seen whether those on that circuit will be able to play in future majors, but Garcia told Spanish media he is giving up on the idea of playing tournaments on the DP World Tour, which was previously known as the European Tour.

It would leave him sidelined for future editions of the Ryder Cup, the contest between Europe and the United States in which he is the record points-scorer.

"I am quite clear about what I am going to do with the European circuit. Probably leave it," Garcia said, quoted by AS. "Honestly, I want to play where they want me and right now I don't feel wanted on the European Tour."

He reacted angrily to Thomas Bjorn's criticism of the players who have signed up for the lucrative LIV Golf series, saying he did not need to accept "nonsense like that".

"I have what I have and I will try to enjoy it. I'll play less, I'll be at home more, if I don't play majors then I don't play them... I don't care much either," Garcia said.

"I feel a little sorry for the Ryder [Cup], but playing the way I'm playing I'm not going to play the Ryder. We will enjoy what we have, we will play where they want us. I haven't officially communicated anything yet, but I'm going to do it."

The 42-year-old Spaniard, who won the 2017 Masters, is sorry he never had the chance to play with his great compatriot Seve Ballesteros at St Andrews, and said there would be "a little bit of disappointment" if he never wins the tournament.

Garcia has twice been an Open runner-up, losing in a play-off to Padraig Harrington in 2007 at Carnoustie, then finishing two shots behind Rory McIlroy in 2014 at Royal Liverpool.

He made his Open debut as a 16-year-old amateur in 1996 and has not been in the mix this week, with a second round of 66 only serving to repair the damage from a 75 on Thursday.

Asked if there would be a sense of regret if he was sidelined from future Opens and never lifted the Claret Jug, Garcia said on Sunday: "I wouldn't say regret. Obviously a little bit of disappointment because I've been close and I love this championship and these crowds very much. Sometimes you don't get what you want or what you wish."

Looking at St Andrews in particular, Garcia said the Open's next return to the Scottish links, likely to come in 2030, might be too far off into the future for him to return.

"I don't know, when is the next one here? 2030. Yeah, probably tough," he said. "And the way everyone is reacting to us [the LIV Golf players], probably even tougher. It is what it is. Things come to an end."

Garcia, who has had two top-10 finishes in Open Championships at St Andrews, spoke of his memories of the course.

"I have some good ones, obviously. Unfortunately I never got to play with Seve here," he said. "That would have been fun."

The golf from Garcia this week was not good enough to contend, with a closing 73 seeing him finish on two-under par.

Asked how he had enjoyed competing on the Fife coast, Garcia said: "Not very much. I enjoyed the crowd, but that was about it."

Darren Clarke believes he has "a few more decent days left on the golf course" after revealing he turned down the offer of joining the LIV Golf Invitational.

Clarke, who won The Open in 2011, is competing at St Andrews this week in the season's final major.

It marks the 150th anniversary of The Open Championship, golf's oldest major.

Yet the lingering dispute over LIV Golf - the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway tour - continues to cast a shadow over the sport.

Clarke has now revealed he was approached to take up a broadcast role for LIV Golf, an option that the Northern Irishman was keen to explore.

However, his desire to continue playing on the PGA Tour meant he had to turn it down.

"I could still have gone and done it but it would have basically meant me retiring from playing professional golf. I wasn't ready to do that just yet," Clarke said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

"Unfortunately I asked for permission to do it and it was denied, [I am] not allowed to do it as part of my PGA Tour membership.

"I respect that decision. I would love to have gone and done it and played both but they decided in their rules and regulations that it wasn't viable for me to do so.

"I want to play. Hopefully I've got a few more decent days left on the golf course and I wasn't ready to hang the clubs up just yet."

While Clarke understands why golfers would take up the chance to play on the lucrative tour, he believes it is fair that there are consequences for those decisions.

"I can understand why the guys have done it. That's fine, they get paid a lot of money to go and join the LIV tour," the 53-year-old added.

"It's a different question if you ask should those guys be allowed to play. It's like asking should Liverpool be allowed to play in the Premier League and go play in LaLiga at the same time?

"As [DP World Tour chief executive] Keith Pelley said, every action comes with consequences. So if you want to go and do this, then you can't do that.

"It's not my position to say what's right and what's wrong but at the moment the rules are that those guys are ineligible to play."

England cricketing great Kevin Pietersen has likened the controversial LIV Golf International Series to the formation of the Indian Premier League and hopes golf can soon settle its differences.

Pietersen was no stranger to controversy as a talented multi-format player, with his commitment to England questioned after the inaugural IPL, when lucrative T20 franchise cricket was born.

The South Africa-born batter captained England for just three Tests and 12 ODIs before his resignation and ultimately announced his international retirement in 2012 after scheduling disagreements – only to soon return.

Pietersen reportedly took issue with the strain put on players by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), with their involvement in franchise cricket around the world limited.

The 42-year-old, who suggested English players were jealous of those offered lucrative IPL contracts, spent the latter stages of his career in various domestic leagues, appearing in tournaments across India, Australia, Pakistan and the Caribbean.

Having been bought for a whopping £1.1million by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the second edition of the then-controversial IPL in 2009, Pietersen remains aware of the potential for differences of opinion when it comes to new beginnings in sport.

LIV Golf has come under intense scrutiny, with vocal opponents criticising the Saudi-backed breakaway league, which offers lucrative prize funds that the PGA Tour is yet to compete with.

Ten major champions have defected to LIV Golf, leaving a cloud hanging over the final major of the year, The Open Championship, where the R&A has allowed breakaway players to feature despite their PGA Tour bans.

Pietersen, speaking after playing the Old Course, St Andrews ahead of The 150th Open on Monday, hopes the issues between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour will soon be resolved.

"I don't really have a take on it because it doesn't matter what I think," he said. 

"But having been part of the Indian Premier League and franchise cricket around the world, I think eventually – and I hope – that everything just merges and everybody lives as one happy family in the future.

"Sport is such a unifying thing. It unifies people, it unifies countries, unifies teams, and the ability to make it into something great is important.

"So, I just hope that for the greater good of the sport, things happen in the next few years. Clearly, there was going to be an outcry at the start by certain people in certain countries. 

"But let's hope that in two, three years' time, golf is celebrated for the great game that it is."

Pietersen has been offered the chance to play at St Andrews before the major starts and believes the short distance of the course may offer the injury-hampered Tiger Woods a chance of success.

"These guys are just so special. I mean, they are quite something when they perform to the calibre of performances that we see these kinds of freak shows," he added.

"[Xander] Schauffele comes in with great form, having won three times in the last three weeks or so. Louis [Oosthuizen] as well, he won, and then he got a runner-up.

"I think you come in here with experience and – you can relate it back to cricket – there are certain grounds in the world that you go to [where] you think, 'Okay, I have a real good chance here because I know this place. I love this place and I know how to bat here.'

"So I think, in terms of golf, there will be a few players that say, 'Yep, I know this place. I like this place'. 

"Maybe even Tiger, this is not a hard walk; we walked it yesterday, this is a very easy walk. For him to be able to turn up here, show that dedication and commitment months ago towards this tournament... you never know.

"We played next to him yesterday, and he played in front of us. There's a crazy sound that comes off the back when he hits, it's very special."

Jordan Spieth categorically rejected speculation surrounding a possible switch to LIV Golf.

Reports from Golf Monthly claimed Spieth was negotiating with the controversial Saudi-backed breakaway series.

However, Spieth took to Twitter to clear up any uncertainty. 

"Because of false reporting today, I feel the need to comment. Let me be clear, any reports that I am contemplating competing anywhere other than the PGA Tour are categorically untrue," Spieth's post read.  

"I am NOT in discussions with LIV. I have been quoted on the record for months that I fully support the PGA Tour and have never considered any alternatives.  

"My goal has not changed since I began playing golf—to win PGA TOUR events and major Championships, and to compete against the best players in the world. Those who truly know me, know what is most important to me."

The emphatic denial of the reports comes hours after Golf Monthly published a statement by Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi.  

"Jordan is not in discussions with LIV and is fully supportive of and happy on the PGA Tour," the statement said.  

The same report that mentioned Spieth also listed Cam Smith, Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood and Hideki Matsuyama as players who were considering talks with LIV Golf.  

Cameron Tringale was delighted with his "red-hot" putting display after shooting a remarkable nine-under 61 to take the lead at the Scottish Open, matching the course record in the process. 

Tringale reached the turn at three-under after making a steady start, but the 34-year-old – whose only previous professional victory came in the Franklin Templeton shootout team event in 2014 – picked up the pace to birdie six consecutive holes through 10 to 15 and finish day one top of the leaderboard.

The American ended Thursday three shots clear of compatriot Gary Woodland and four ahead of South Africa's Justin Harding – one of four LIV Golf players to feature at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.

In claiming a place among the early leaders, Harding fared far better than fellow LIV Golf star Ian Poulter, who made nine bogeys during a calamitous opening round to finish eight-over.

Poulter was allowed to feature pending an appeal against a DP World Tour ban but may be wishing he had not bothered after slumping to near the bottom of the leaderboard, at one point sharing last place in the expanded field.

But the story of the day was undoubtedly Tringale's career-best round. He is now targeting greater consistency after setting a terrific pace. 

"I got lucky this morning with the wind not being up, the other guys in my group were off to hot starts, making some putts and I decided to join the fun on number five," Tringale told Sky Sports. 

"Then my putter got red-hot, and that's how you do it!

"You do the best you can, I think I was just fortunate with the amount of putts I holed and I got plenty of practice shots around the green, I didn't have to use them all that much because I struck it pretty nicely.

"But I was just dialled in on the greens and that tells the story. I'm just really focused on what I can control, I've done it poorly enough to learn the lessons. 

"Hopefully I can continue to go and play, and the good outcomes will come as a by-product if I can keep my head on straight."

Rory McIlroy believes players who have joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series should not be "having their cake and eating it" by being eligible to compete on other tours.

On Monday, Ian Poulter was informed he could play at this week's Scottish Open after an appeal against his ban was upheld, despite the DP World Tour barring him from playing.

Poulter was also one of several high-profile players to have been indefinitely suspended by the PGA Tour by signing up with LIV Golf.

One of the more vocal supporters of the PGA Tour, McIlroy insisted players should have to live with the consequences of choices to earn more money if they do sign with the breakaway competition.

"I think at this stage, if you go over and play on a different tour, then go over and play on a different tour," he said.

"You're sort of basically leaving all your peers behind to go make more money, which is fine. But just go over there. Don't try and come back and play over here again.

"This whole having your cake and eating it type thing is what the resentment [stems from] within the membership."

McIlroy's comments follow Branden Grace taking out LIV Golf Portland last weekend, with Billy Horschel also saving harsh criticism in the lead up to the Scottish Open, which will be an important preparation for the Open Championship.

Fronted by former world number one Greg Norman, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is the majority shareholder of LIV Golf Investments, allowing for substantially larger prize money and an eased schedule.

Horschel, who won the Memorial Tournament in June, believes it is hypocritical of defectors to cite a lighter schedule and then play on multiple tours.

"They shouldn’t be coming back over here to play the DP World Tour or the PGA Tour, he said. "To say that they wanted to also support this tour or the DP or PGA Tour going forward, while playing the LIV Tour, is completely asinine in my opinion.

"To play the PGA Tour, you’ve got to play 15 events and their [LIV] schedule is eight events, [planned to be] 14. So to say they are going to play 29 events a year and still hold membership on the PGA Tour is ridiculous. They decided to go play on a tour and they should go play that tour.

"The last week’s events I’ve been really frustrated by because there are a lot of guys who are hypocrites that are not telling the truth and lying about some things."

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