Adam Scott has given his support to LIV defectors Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman while conceding the pair may have taken a risk in joining Greg Norman’s Saudi-back tour which the Masters champ says has “rocked the waters” of the sport.
As he confirmed he would return home this summer for the first time since 2019 to play both the Australian PGA and Open, Scott spoke candidly about his “unchanged” relationship with Aussie legend Norman and his hope golf’s war would resolve itself.
Scott, who played his 10th Presidents Cup last weekend without Smith and Leishman, who were banned because of their LIV involvement, said he wasn’t surprised Norman was part of the “shake-up” which has created growing tensions, and lawsuits, between players and administrators around the world, nor was he upset with his countryman.
“Definitely not. I’ve probably remained less emotional than most around me to the whole thing,” Scott said from his home in Switzerland.
“I’m not surprised that Greg is involved in this. He has been pushing and almost achieving this in the past. It’s something he truly believes in and I don’t begrudge him for going for it one it at all.
“Sure, it’s rocked the waters of golf, which has never really happened in this way before. But I am still optimistic people’s intent is still good and therefore I think we’ll come to a better place ultimately going forward.”
Scott said he knocked back overtures to join LIV because it remained “unknown” how, or if, tour members who aren’t exempt for major championships, could qualify for the flagship events he still wants to win.
He said that could be among the risks taken by any converts, except for British Open champion Smith who does have exemptions. But Scott said he didn’t begrudge anyone joining LIV, and that includes his countrymen who he counts as close friends.
“I spoke with Cam (Smith) a fair bit throughout this year. The three of us are fairly close and we’ve all shared our thoughts on it,” he said.
“I completely understand anyone doing it. they have been offered an opportunity and it suits them, more power to them. I really want it to work out for them.
“They may or may not be taking a little bit of a risk. I’s unknown. I’m happy for both of them. They have been given an opportunity that really suits them and they are going for it.”
Scott said he hoped the “pots shots” being taken from both sides would cease sooner rather than later, although he hadn’t see “friction” up close and he didn’t consider LIV the “pure evil” others do.
“There have been some feelings hurt and some friendships strained maybe,” he said.
“But I’m not trying to play a peacemaker. Because I am a little less emotive about it I can be a voice of reason. I don’t see LIV as pure evil for the game of golf.
“Hopefully we can get beyond everyone having shots at each other …. and the closer we get to the waters settling.”
With opportunities to return to Australia to play tournament golf limited, Scott said he would continue to push the local agenda “pretty hard” with PGA Tour bosses, as he had done throughout his career.
But he also suggested the senior voices among Australian players could also rally, as they did in the US recently, led by Rory McIlroy, to make more waves for change and possibly create more playing opportunities outside of the current tour, including at home.
“The international player agenda on the PGA Tour is quite important, because we’ve seen a lot of international players leave the tour to go and play LIV,” he said.
“It seems like over the past 10 to 15 years Australia has been easily overlooked. Currently, with I’ll call it a shake-up, every tour seems to be making moves weekly, or monthly. How Australia fits in to that I don’t know.
“When the dust settles a little bit on this we’ll have a clearer idea of where that leaves Australia.
“There’s no doubt senior players in Australia are passionate about golf in Australia and want things to be as good as they can and if at some point the senior players got together to have a brain storm I think that could be a productive thing.”