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Smith withdraws from BMW tilt

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Australian star Cam Smith withdrew from this week’s PGA Tour BMW Championship on Monday citing a hip injury, organizers confirmed.

Smith, the recently crowned British Open champion who has been linked to a move to the breakaway LIV Golf circuit, has been struggling with a hip problem for months according to agent Bud Martin.

“He has been dealing with some on and off hip discomfort for several months and thought it best he rest this week in his pursuit of the FedEx Cup,” Martin said in a statement quoted by US media.

Smith’s withdrawal comes after his hopes of victory at last weekend’s St. Jude Championship in Memphis — the opening round of the 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs — were hit by a rules violation.

The Aussie world number two was given a two-stroke penalty for improper ball placement ahead of Sunday’s final round.

It meant Smith started the final 18 holes four strokes off the lead instead of only two back. Smith eventually finished six strokes adrift of winner Will Zalatoris.

The rules violation controversy comes amid reports that Smith has agreed to join the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf series.

Smith refused to comment on the reports last week when quizzed by reporters in Memphis.

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