Report: Smith, Niemann Headline Latest Wave Of Players To Join LIV Golf

Another wave of players are heading to LIV Golf, including multiple international players from the 2022 Presidents Cup team, according to Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel.

Six players are leaving the PGA Tour for LIV, headlined by 2022 Champion Golfer of the Year and Players Championship winner Cameron Smith.  Smith has been rumored to LIV Golf for the past month or so and has yet to deny or confirm the report. 

“I have no comment to that,” Smith said two weeks ago at the first playoff event in Memphis. “I’m here to play the FedEx Cup Playoffs. That’s been my focus the last week and a half, that’s what I’m here to do.”

Other players expected to go from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf are Joaquin Niemann, Mito Pereira, Harold Varner III and Marc Leishman. Cameron Tringale has already confirmed he is leaving the PGA Tour for LIV. 

Niemann and Pereira join Smith as automatic qualifiers for the 2022 Presidents Cup team that will have to leave the team if they join LIV Golf. 

International team Presidents Cup captain Trevor Immelman will likely have to make more choices than previously expected. 

“I was chosen by our players to lead the International team to the best of my abilities, and I will carry out this honor fully,” Immelman said in a statement to GolfChannel.com. “All I can control is the experience the 12 players who want to be at the Presidents Cup will have. My wife and I along with our support staff have dedicated 2 years of our lives to making this Presidents Cup an amazing week for our players, caddies and families.”

However, Hideki Matsuyama and Cameron Young, who have also been rumored to be leaving for LIV Golf, have confirmed their intentions to stay on the PGA Tour. 

“Frankly, I have decided to stay,” Young said after the Tour Championship. “It’s a really difficult situation because it’s not anything that anyone really wanted to happen. I think it wasn’t meant to be this hostile between the two.

“Throughout the whole process with them I was very interested,” Young said. “I think they have a bunch of good ideas. I think they’re doing some cool stuff, and with some of those changes coming, that’s what really helped me decide to stay and pursue those goals that I have for myself, like making the Presidents Cup team or Ryder Cup team and winning a major, when all of that is just uncertain if you go.”

Young added “It’s a tough place for me because I’m very young. There’s a lot of factors to it.”

Matsuyama also confirmed his intention to stay on the Tour, according to the Associated Press’s Doug Ferguson. Matsuyama has been rumored to LIV Golf and even a full Japanese team sponsored by Srixon has been talked about.