After the triumph of the inaugural Cathedral Invitational, Cameron Smith felt enthused to introduce a third tournament in Australia – a move that Adam Scott predicts might evolve into a significant event.
Last year, Scott took part in the opening event at the iconic course in country Victoria. He noted that the limited-field, 36-hole tournament signified a progressive shift in Australian golf; a venture he aims to champion.
The $100,000 purse seems trivial compared to the amounts typically earned by players like Scott and Smith. Smith’s potential weekend earnings from the LIV event in Chicago, for instance, could reach a whopping $28m. However, the unique structure of the Invitational, stepping away from the standard four-day game with staggered tees, and introducing mixed-gender play, represents the evolution the 2013 Masters champion believes golf urgently needs.
“We mustn’t fear taking experimental steps and observing the outcome,” commented Scott, “The golf industry is slow to adopt modifications, but kudos to those willing to venture – whether through altering the site set-up or tweaking the event format. This presents an excellent opportunity for the event’s reputation to spread naturally, crescendoing in size and prestige.”
Cameron Smith’s participation underscored Scott’s sentiment while adding momentum to the event: “It seems he isn’t willing to be left out of the fun. The tournament is growing exponentially.”
Despite turning down a lucrative deal to join the Saudi-backed LIV tour, Scott, aged 41, voiced support for its condensed schedule and shorter, 54-hole format. He confirmed his commitment to continuing his competing exploits, while expressing his intentions of propelling the sport forward through events like the Cathedral Invitational, which is the brainchild of David Evans, who constructed the course on his property.
“My input matters. This mutual aspiration is the foundation of my connection with David. We share the desire to offer something innovative while gradually shaping the future of golf. We’re still in the early stages, but I’m confident in David’s grand vision and look forward to contributing, particularly in Australia” Scott said.
Scott and Smith will be joined in December by Marc Leishman and LPGA newcomer Gabi Ruffels.
Scott reflected on his previous year’s experience, saying, “I enjoyed it tremendously. I yearn for more relaxing, unconventional formats at this stage in my career. After countless 72-hole stroke-play events, competing in a relaxed atmosphere, while bringing together professionals in an unfamiliar setting, makes for a welcomed change. I eagerly anticipate the event’s return this year.”