Reactions to Cameron Smith's 2-stroke penalty: LIV Tour conspiracies? Why did it take so long?

·3 min read

Cameron Smith's two-stroke penalty, assessed Sunday for an improper ball placement in a penalty area on the 4th hole Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind, produced a widespread reaction as the Australian started his final round.

Smith was assessed the penalty for an improper ball placement following a drop on No. 4. Smith played his dropped ball on the red penalty line instead of on the in-play side of the line opposite of the water hazard. PGA Tour rules official Gary Young said an on-site rules official noticed it while watching a re-broadcast Saturday night.

Nearly 22 hours after the drop and shot, Smith was assessed the penalty.

The timing of the penalty irked many on social media.

Others mentioned the betting implications. Smith was among the favorites to win the tournament overnight after originally finishing Saturday's round two shots behind leader J.J. Spaun. After the two-stroke penalty, Smith started the round four strokes out of the lead.

The reports of Smith joining the rival LIV Tour following the end of the FedEx Cup playoffs began The Open Champion's crazy week on Wednesday. Smith declined to comment on, but did not deny, the reports.

It didn't stop Golf Twitter from tying Smith's potential impeding move to LIV to the retroactive penalty given an hour later, whether or not the penalty is valid. (By tyhe PGA Tour's rules, it is a valid penalty.)

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Cameron Smith penalty reaction: LIV Tour conspiracies, timing of penalty