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Cam Smith says LIV players are ready for Masters: ‘Kind of a pride thing’

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The 18 players who joined LIV Golf and are in next week’s field at the Masters have plenty to prove. Just ask Cameron Smith, the highest-ranked player on the breakaway circuit.

“For me I’m trying to go there and play the best golf I can,” Smith said Thursday at the LIV Golf Orlando event. “Is it important for LIV? I think it is important to go there and play well. Really show a high standard of golf which we know we’re all capable of.”

Smith, who won last year’s Open Championship and Players Championship before joining LIV Golf, finished third at last year’s Masters and he said there are plenty of LIV players who could make an impact at the season’s first major despite general criticism about the LIV Golf format and fields.

“Maybe we just show a really hardy effort. For us, internally, it’s kind of a pride thing. There’s a lot of chatter going around about, ‘These guys don’t play real golf anymore.’ I think it’s BS. We just want to show people,” he said.

Smith said he hopes to play practice rounds next week with Jason Day and Adam Scott, fellow Australians who did not join LIV, but he admitted that he’s not sure what to expect at Augusta National when players from both circuits are together for the first time this year.

“I’m really not sure, to be honest,” Smith said. “I hope that it’s fine. I’ve had a great career around Augusta and I hope I haven’t pissed anyone off. I guess we’ll wait and see, there are a few guys who have a stronger stance [on LIV].”