Cameron Smith, who is attempting to become the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world and is reportedly set to join the rival LIV Golf series, was assessed a two-stroke penalty before the start of Sunday’s final round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.
According to a statement from the PGA Tour, Smith played his ball from the improper spot on the fourth hole during Saturday’s third round. The tour said Smith “was assessed a two-stroke penalty for a breach of Rule 14.7 (playing ball from the wrong spot).”
Smith, winner of the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews last month, took a drop in the improper spot after hitting his ball into the water on the par-3 fourth hole.
Smith signed for a 3-under 67 and was two shots behind leader J.J. Spaun. After the penalty, he started the final round four strokes behind him.
Rule 14.7 of the Rules of Golf states: “When a player’s ball comes to rest in an area where play is not allowed, the player must take relief under the appropriate Rule. In stroke play, if the player plays the ball from that area (such as a no play zone or wrong green) the player gets two penalty strokes for each stroke made from that area.”
With Scottie Scheffler missing the cut in Memphis, Smith would move to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a victory in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
On Tuesday, the Telegraph of London reported that Smith was set to become the highest-ranked player to join the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf league. He reportedly will receive a signing bonus worth more than $100 million and would debut in the next LIV debut in Boston later this month.
Smith dodged reporters’ questions about the report.
“I’m a man of my word and whenever you guys need to know anything, it’ll be said by me,” Smith said Tuesday.