Ranking Cameron Smith and the 6 Players LIV Golf Just Poached From the PGA Tour
Now that the 2021-22 PGA Tour season has ended, LIV Golf can ramp up its efforts to poach more players and expand its growing roster even further. It didn’t take Greg Norman and Co. very long to strike, either.
On Tuesday, less than 48 hours after the final putt dropped at the Tour Championship, LIV Golf announced the addition of six new golfers directly from the PGA Tour. Champion Golfer of the Year and World No. 2 Cameron Smith headlines the group of defectors, but he isn’t the only young star making the jump this week.
So, let’s break down the six newest members of LIV Golf and rank them from No. 6 to No. 1.
Ranking the 6 newest LIV Golf defectors
6. Anirban Lahiri
Anirban Lahiri isn’t moving the needle for LIV Golf. The 35-year-old Indian has played on the PGA Tour since 2014, but his crowning achievement is a solo second-place finish at the Players Championship earlier this year.
Lahiri never won an event on the PGA Tour, and he’s never been ranked higher than 33rd in the Official World Golf Ranking. He’s the clear No. 6 on this list.
5. Cameron Tringale
Cameron Tringale is another lesser-known 35-year-old golfer who won’t be a major loss for the PGA Tour. Although he’s accomplished more in professional golf than Lahiri, the American also never won a single event on the PGA Tour.
Tringale is the highest-earning player in Tour history without a win on his resume, so maybe he can secure that first victory in a smaller LIV Golf field.
4. Marc Leishman
Just a few years ago, Marc Leishman was a consistent Tour Championship participant and reached as high as No. 12 in the OWGR, but he’s clearly on the downside of his career at 38 years of age. The Australian has won just once on Tour since February of 2020.
Leishman will bring with him a loyal following of Australian fans, but he isn’t even the most popular countryman making the switch to LIV this week.
3. Harold Varner III
Harold Varner III isn’t a seismic addition to LIV Golf because of his play on the course. The 32-year-old is ranked 46th in the OWGR, and he doesn’t have a single PGA Tour win on his resume.
But Varner is an important get for LIV because of his connection to Michael Jordan. HV3 is the only professional golfer who rocks Jordan Brand from head-to-toe, and now LIV control’s Jordan’s favorite golf partner.
2. Joaquin Niemann
Now we’re talking.
LIV Golf has had some trouble poaching the younger stars on the PGA Tour, so 23-year-old Joaquin Niemann is an impressive get. The talented Chilean currently ranks 19th in the OWGR, and he just finished in a tie for 11th at the Tour Championship.
Niemann is one of the most painful losses for the PGA Tour yet, but he doesn’t take the No. 1 spot this week.
1. Cameron Smith
No surprises here.
Cameron Smith is now far and away the most talented player on LIV Golf’s growing roster of players. The 29-year-old Aussie is the reigning Open champion, Players champion, and the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world. He also has a massive fan base thanks to his impressive play and even more impressive mullet.
Smith is a crushing blow for the PGA Tour, and he should be the new face of LIV Golf.