Greg Norman accused of denying Cameron Smith Potentially a great career by encouraging your Australian friend to leave LIV Golf Sherry.
Norman is the CEO and influential lead singer of the Saudi-backed series holding its opening events in 2022.
Among the most high-profile employees of LIV’s first year, Smith who chose to sign just weeks after winning his first major title at The Open at St Andrews last summer.
now famous analyst Brandel ChambleeAn outspoken critic of LIV dropouts, he suggested that Smith’s decision could potentially steal the 29-year-old from a great career.
Indeed, Chamblee believes Norman may have robbed his compatriot of his chance to be considered the greatest golfer the country has ever known.
“It’s ironic to me that it’s an Australian that’s going to stop another Australian at Cameron Smith from rising to a point (from Australia) that is probably considered the greatest player of all time,” Chamblee told the Golf Channel. “He had that kind of talent, replacing Peter Thomson.
Norman didn’t get there but (Smith) could easily have replaced Greg Norman as the second best player of all time from Australia. That’s the direction Cameron Smith is going, at least in my view.
“He turned his back on that and a lot of that has to do with Greg Norman and Cam Smith got a lot of bad advice from his managers and other people in the game around him trying to lure him into LIV.”
Smith will miss defending the Players Championship title at TPC Sawgrass this week with LIV players who can’t compete on PGA Tour.
The Australian climbed to number two in the world rankings last July and was named PGA Tour Player of the Year at the end of the 2022 season after receiving two of golf’s most prestigious tournament crowns.
For Chamblee, Smith’s talent brought back memories of both Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros, and the American now considers it a shame that he no longer competes regularly alongside the sport’s top players.
“He definitely had the potential to be a great actor,” Chamblee explained. “If you look at his qualities, his age, he was a great beater – and probably (still) – a great beater, a great shooter, a great shooter.
“Actor like Tom Watson comes to mind. From the age of 25 (Watson) to the age of 35, he had 35 victories, won eight major titles, really took a big step at 27, that’s what Cam Smith was last year. Twenty-seven, 28, 29, five wins, five wins, five wins in each of those years. Seven wins at age 30, those early years.
“And when you think of Seve Ballesteros, she won five majors from age 22 to age 31. She set the world on fire and she was pretty much the same type of player we saw at Cameron Smith in St Andrews last year. And then they do tremendously incredible things.”