If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? According to a similar logic, if Cameron Smith rolls to win the LIV Tour, does anyone outside his orbit really care?
He’s done really well this year, Smith. The best golfer in the world? It’s hard to argue against someone who won the Champions League, Players Championship and Open Championship, ahead of this weekend’s meeting of the Rebel Alliance in Chicago.
Smith’s biggest prize win in those tough times was £3m at The Players, similar to his fifth major golf tournament, and he took in just over £2m at the Open nine weeks earlier.
The Champions League was valued at 1.3 million pounds. That status he stashed in Chicago added £3.5m to his hunting fund and something else to his state of mind, because what he shared next was revealing. a little sad too
World number 3 Cameron Smith (pictured) triumphs in Chicago at the LIV Golf Invitational
Australian Smith took a 3-shot win in the second event of the LIV Series in Chicago
“I feel like I need to prove to myself, and maybe more to other people, just because I changed rounds doesn’t mean I’m a worse player,” he said.
Here’s the thing – no one thought he was a worse golfer, he was just a less important player. Which is less important now, tragically and indisputably.
If we go to one basic set of numbers from the weekend, we can gauge an interesting finding about the current appeal of the three major tours: the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the LIV.
Each had what could be called a best-case scenario for a quiet week on the golf calendar. For the PGA Tour, it meant a quick surrender in the Fortinet, with Danny Willett making a three-in-four to seal the win for Max Homma.
This was only the second event of the Saudi-backed series, but they still have fewer viewers
What it lacks in star-studded depth it makes up for in drama, and social media personalities on the PGA Tour back that view: A video of Willett’s breakdown was viewed more than 600,000 times when this was written.
A few hours ago, we saw the finale of the DP World Open in Italy. It had a little context from playing in the Ryder Cup tournament, and had a good ending, as Robert McIntyre beat Matt Fitzpatrick in a playoff.
The winning hit tour video has been viewed nearly 100,000 times. He did not break the Internet, as they say, but had his place.
Then there is LIV. Their new boy, Smith, won the tournament in which Dustin Johnson played exceptional golf.
To beat him, Smith was formidable, and he showed up by flipping over a bunker at 11 o’clock on his final run that required a soft landing on an area the size of a Matt’s beer bottle. He made it through – again, talent is neither the issue nor top-tier competition.
30,000 people watched Smith’s winner’s hit LIV post on Monday afternoon
invisibility. Even before delving into the politics and its original story, fans of the sport don’t seem to care much about actual golf — 30,000 people watched Smith’s winning hit LIV post as of Monday afternoon.
Again, these are small fragments of the world of scales. And we know that LIV will grow exponentially, especially once its existence has normalized over time.
But perhaps what we are seeing today is an indifference to an entity in which money is presented naked as the greatest good of all.
As fans, we can sympathize with Willett and can be happy for Houma, who has missed 15 times in 17 tournaments.
We can also get to MacIntyre, who was very close to last year’s Ryder Cup pick and has now planted a flag in Rome for the next event. But Smith and his growing fortune? Whatever floats on your superyacht, I suppose.
Smith celebrates with girlfriend Chanel Noam on the last day of LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago
Credit to Danny Willett. Players who had suffered far fewer defeats lost training sessions long before the microphones came into play, but the 2016 Masters champion remained stuck after his three-shot horror show in Napa and gave interviews. “It’s a shame I’m done with that,” he said, “but that’s golf.” “We’ll do it again another day.”
We dare say it, but Pat Perez is working on something good with LIV. He has yet to finish better than 15th with his ball in any of their tournaments, but by virtue of being Dustin Johnson’s Four Aces teammate in the team event, he has put £2.6m in his pants.