Two of LIV Golf’s newest signings have been thrust into the role of recruiters for its commissioner Greg Norman, who has one big target in mind.
On Wednesday the Sydney Morning Herald reported that 2022 Open champion Cameron Smith and fellow Aussie Marc Leishman have been tasked with the mission to convince countryman Adam Scott to join LIV Golf, after talks between the breakaway tour and the 2013 Masters champion broke down earlier in the year.
According to the report, Norman used the lure of a 25-percent stake in a LIV Golf franchise to convince Smith and Leishman to join the Saudi-backed series, where they now spearhead the all-Australian team ‘Punch GC’ ahead of this week’s Invitational Series event in Chicago.
Norman told the publication any further dealings with Scott would now rest with the star Aussie duo, both good friends of the Queenslander and who’ve been incentivised to build and commercialise the most successful team possible ahead of next year’s inaugural F1-style league.
“There were discussions early on with Adam and I think right now with Marc and Cam being the principals of Team Australia, I think quite honestly it’s over to them (to lure Adam),” Norman told the Herald and The Age.
“You’ve got to think about it from Cam’s perspective, he completely understood one thing that other people are struggling to understand: the value LIV Golf brings, and that new value is the franchise.
“They have to build out the most solid team which gives them the best value going forward. Obviously, they’ll come to us and ask us questions, and there’s so much good young talent coming out of Australia. I can name you four or five of the kids. There are some very good ones and one or two have a connection up into Asia, and that Asian value from a financial standpoint is solid.”
Scott, who idolised Norman growing up, surprised many recently by attending a players-only meeting chaired by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, where it was reported the attendees – believed to be more than 20 of the world’s highest-ranked golfers – discussed ways to improve the PGA Tour product in an effort to thwart the growing threat of LIV.
Scott, yet to play on a winning Presidents Cup team, will make his 10th appearance for the Internationals squad next week when the PGA Tour’s biennial showcase event heads to Quail Hollow in Charlotte.
The 42-year-old is confident he can finally put an end to the hoodoo amidst the fickle nature of matchplay.
“We’re still talking about 18 holes of matchplay, and we’ve got to remember anything can happen in an 18-hole match,” Scott told Australian Golf Digest.
“Play and momentum plays a big deal in these things. We saw that at the last one; we kind of got up early and we nearly hung on.”